An increase in the number of cannabis farms detected by the police in the UK has been attributed to a controversial new daytime TV show on BBC1, ‘Hash in the Attic’. Hosted by Gloria Hunniford and Aled Jones and aimed at students and the unemployed, the programme hopes to raise money for the households they visit by using their lofts to cultivate vast crops of illegal drugs and then sell them at auctions on the street corner.
‘Until Gloria Hunniford turned up at my house and started rummaging through the loft, I never realised I was sitting on such a treasure trove,’ said 22-year-old Carl Samuels, occupier of a house with 250-square-foot attic. ‘I needed to raise some money to pay off my court fines, but cannabis production had never occurred to me before Aled Jones started setting up the artificial lights and hydroponic equipment. I only needed £400 but at auction round the back of the pub we raised more than five grand.’
Each programme sees Hunniford and Jones arrive at someone’s home and discuss how much money they’d like to raise before heading into the loft to black out the windows, rig up lights and dispense expert advice on seeds, fertilisers and abstracting electricity from your neighbours. The presenters then return after a couple of months to help with the harvest and bag up the goods for auction.
‘The best bit was when they came round to test the crop,’ said 17-year-old Luke, a former apprentice mechanic from Luton but now a feared drugs baron and organic farmer. ‘I knew I was onto a winner when Gloria Hunniford took a couple of big hits on the bong, slowly grinned and gave me the thumbs-up before announcing, ‘This is some really good shit’. She then fell off her chair and laughed for 30 minutes straight before asking the production crew if they had any Monster Munch or Snickers. In the end we had to fit a stair-lift to get her back down.’
The success of ‘Hash in the Attic’ has prompted other daytime TV shows to change their formats. ‘Homes Under the Hammer’ will now focus on the violence that can follow when drug dealers pop round to collect the money they’re owed, while ITV are planning to send orange-skinned antiques expert David Dickinson to Columbia to score a ‘cheap-as-chips’ shipment of cocaine in ‘Dickinson’s Real Deal’.