Sheffield florist will star in new BBC series ‘Call That Hard Work?’

“People have an idea about how florists spend their days,” smiles Lucy Ashton, owner of The Dandelion Clock in Fulwood.

Sunday, 16th August 2020, 11:39 am

“They think it’s such a pretty job, surrounded by beautiful flowers - and that’s the illusion all florists work hard to create.

“In reality, it’s a hard job, full of graft; I don’t spend my days skipping through meadows waving ribbons around my head.”

Lucy, who launched the business in 2010, is about to expose the realities of her day job to the nation as part of a new BBC show, launching tomorrow.

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Lucy Ashton in her shop, The Dandelion Clock, in Fulwood

‘Call That Hard Work?’ is a ten-part series which will see people immerse themselves in one another’s jobs – from actor to zookeeper, florist to factory worker – competing to see whose is the hardest.

The first day of filming saw personal trainer AJ and car sales executive Sophie join Lucy at her Sheffield shop.

“I think they were really surprised at what a hard day it was,” says Lucy, aged 48.

“I order all my flowers online, and they’re delivered to the shop early in the morning in big flat boxes.

Lucy Ashton in her shop, The Dandelion Clock, in Fulwood, with AJ and Sophie

“That morning, we had 20 boxes of flowers to unpack, condition, strip off the greenery, and get into water.

“It’s a really physical job, carrying big buckets of water and heavy boxes around. I’m usually on my feet all day long, and you have to be prepared for whatever may walk in the door - customer service is absolutely key to everything.”

Lucy is quick to praise the work of her two new ‘colleagues,’ revealing they worked incredibly hard, though painstakingly slowly.

“You’re always slow at a new job, aren’t you?” she asks.

Lucy Ashton with contestants AJ and Sophie

“That morning we didn’t manage to get the shop open until 10.30am, so I spent most of the day twitching nervously.

“They helped me with everything, from morning prep to closing, they learned to make a bouquet, and even did a consultation with me for one of my lovely brides.”

The next day, Lucy was up early to join personal trainer AJ in one-to-one sessions and bootcamp classes.

By the third day, as she prepared to immerse herself in the competitive world of car sales, attempting to meet Sophie’s monthly sales target, Lucy reveals all three were exhausted.

Lucy Ashton with contestants AJ and Sophie

“I had a full Mariah-meltdown on the Friday afternoon,” she laughs.

“We were all frazzled and I just threw my toys out of the pram for a small amount of time.

“They were long, hard days of filming, starting early, finishing late, and then heading straight to the next location.”

As for the jobs she took on, Lucy says she was surprised by how she found each one.

“The job I thought I was really going to struggle with ended up being great fun,” she says.

“The other one, which I thought I’d slide into a bit easier, was much less enjoyable.

"The filming itself was good fun, and the cameras didn’t bother me at all.

“It was a terrific experience, and I can’t wait to see what made the final edit.”

Lucy’s episode will air on BBC One at 3.45pm this Wednesday August 19.