Popular TV show The Great Pottery Thrown Down is heading back to Stoke-on-Trent – and hopeful contestants can apply now.
The programme, filmed at Middleport Pottery, is returning after the last series made a successful move from the BBC to Channel 4.
The show follows 12 home potters as they strive to create their most intricate and imaginative work, before their pieces are judged by the expert judging duo – and a variety of well-known faces and experts from the world of pottery.
Love Productions, which makes the programme, says it processing applications now despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic – and potters have until May 3 to apply.
The third series, which aired in January, was hosted by Melanie Sykes and featured returning judge and master potter Keith Brymer Jones and new judge and award-winning ceramicist Sue Pryke.
Keith, who will be returning for the next series, told StokeonTrentLive: “It’s great that the show is coming back, I’m really chuffed.
“They were over the moon with the viewing figures for the last series. It was shown on More4 and then repeated on Channel 4, and it really gathered momentum.
“We can’t wait to get back to Middleport to do the fourth series. The Love Productions research team are looking for contestants now, interviewing people and doing as much as they can remotely.
“As and when the Government guidelines allow, we can then start filming. It was pencilled in to start filming in July but it looks like we are going to have to push that back, perhaps to the end of the year.
“I love Middleport Pottery, it’s such a great venue for filming. The people are really great and it has a wonderful atmosphere. I always look forward to going there.”
Applications are open to amateur potters over the age of 18 and can be made online.
A Love Productions spokesman said: “We wanted to let you know that the series is returning and we are closely observing Government guidelines. At some stage, after the Covid-19 situation has improved and it is safe to do so, we will be filming the next series.
“Please be reassured in applying for the series this does not involve asking potential potters or any of our team to travel. We are able to work safely from home and are continuing to process the applications now for series four.”
Paul Williams, chairman of Stoke-on-Trent Cultural Destinations, said he hoped one of this year’s contestants would be from the city.
He said: “It’s fantastic news that the series is coming back. The exposure for Stoke-on-Trent and for Middleport Pottery in particular has been really positive.
“At a time when tourism has been hit badly by the coronavirus outbreak, anything that can showcase the culture and creative sector of the city in the living rooms of the viewing public would absolutely benefit the city.
“What the Throw Down is doing incredibly well is preserving and promoting the city’s rich ceramic heritage and the wonderful skills and talent that goes into pottery making.
“On the back of an outstanding last series in the new format, I would expect to see more interest from people in Stoke-on-Trent in applying. We have some wonderful potters and ceramic artists, I would like to think someone from this field would consider applying to be a contestant.”
The third series of The Great Pottery Throw Down is currently being repeated at 5.40pm on weekday evenings on More4 and is available on demand on All4. Apply to be a contestant on the next series here.