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Alan Titchmarsh

Alan at Chawton crop.jpg
Titchmarsh in 2007
Alan Fred Titchmarsh

(1949-05-02) 2 May 1949 (age 74)
Education Hertfordshire College of Agriculture and Horticulture
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Occupation Broadcaster, gardener, novelist, poet
Years active 1974–present
Television Gardeners' World (1996–2002)
Ground Force (1997–2002)
Alan Titchmarsh Show (2007–2014)
Popstar to Operastar (2010)
Love Your Garden (2011–present)
Alison Titchmarsh
(m. 1975)
Children 2

Alan Fred Titchmarsh MBE DL VMH HonFSE (born 2 May 1949) is an English gardener and broadcaster. After working as a professional gardener and a gardening journalist, he became a writer, and a radio and television presenter.

Early career

Alan Fred Titchmarsh was born on 2 May 1949 in Ilkley, West Riding of Yorkshire, England. He is the son of Bessie (née Hardisty), a textile mill worker, and Alan Fred Titchmarsh senior, a plumber. In 1964, after leaving school at 15, with one O-level in Art, Titchmarsh went to work as an apprentice gardener with Ilkley Council, before leaving in 1968, at 18, for Shipley Art and Technology Institute in Shipley in the West Riding of Yorkshire to study for a City and Guilds in horticulture.

Titchmarsh went on to study at Hertfordshire College of Agriculture and Horticulture for the National Certificate in Horticulture, before finally moving to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to study for a Diploma in Horticulture. After graduating he stayed on at Kew, employed as a supervisor and later as a staff trainer. He left to pursue a career in gardening journalism in 1974. Interested in English literature and writing, he applied for a post with the publisher Hamlyn Publishing, as assistant editor of gardening books. He then started to write his own gardening books, with the first published in 1976.

Television and radio

1988 Titchmarsh hosted the gardening show with House in a Garden on BBC Radio 2. Titchmarsh's first television appearances were on the BBC television show Nationwide as a horticulture expert. This led to his presenting of the Chelsea Flower Show for BBC television in 1983. Titchmarsh hosted this every year until 2013. He also appeared on other BBC shows, such as Breakfast Time and Open Air as either a guest presenter or as a gardening expert.

Alan Titchmarsh and his Britain in Bloom Garden
Titchmarsh at the Chelsea Flower Show 2014

In 1991 Titchmarsh hosted the BBC television talk show Pebble Mill, which he did until its cancellation in 1996. In 1991 he presented a six part series in which he followed in the footsteps of the pilgrims, travelling around Britain and Ireland.

In 1996 Titchmarsh took over as host of Gardeners' World, the show being filmed in his own garden. In 1997 he hosted the BBC One television series, Ground Force, in which he and fellow presenters Charlie Dimmock and Tommy Walsh would perform a makeover on a garden. After Gardeners' World Titchmarsh has presented two series of How To Be A Gardener.

Away from gardening, Titchmarsh has had spells presenting Songs of Praise and a series of programmes on BBC Radio 2 in which he played a selection of light classical music, as well as a BBC nature documentary series, British Isles - A Natural History.

Alan Titchmarsh2
Titchmarsh at the 2008 Gardeners' World Live Exhibition in the NEC

Titchmarsh has appeared in adverts, including working for the Yorkshire Tourist Board (now Welcome To Yorkshire). He voiced the title character in Gordon the Garden Gnome, a cartoon series for the CBeebies channel. In 2007 Titchmarsh hosted a follow-up series to British Isles – A Natural History entitled The Nature of Britain focusing on British plant and animal species.

He hosted the 20th Century Roadshow, a 2005 special edition of the Antiques Roadshow; performing in the 2006 Children's Party at the Palace for the Queen's 80th birthday; and guest hosting an episode of The Paul O'Grady Show. In 2007 Titchmarsh hosted The Great British Village Show. He also presented the afternoon ITV chat show The Alan Titchmarsh Show (2007-2014). In 2006 Titchmarsh was given a permanent slot on BBC Radio 2 on Sunday evenings with the show Melodies for you.

In 2010 Titchmarsh presented the first series of Popstar to Operastar with Myleene Klass. Since 2011, he has presented gardening show Love Your Garden. In June 2012 he presented Elizabeth: Queen, Wife, Mother on ITV. In August 2011, Titchmarsh left Radio 2. Since January 2012, he has hosted a Saturday morning show on Classic FM.

In 2013, Titchmarsh, then aged 64, responded to complaints that older women were discriminated against on television by stating he would like to hear less "whingeing". "They don't complain in their early days when they are disporting themselves on sports cars", he stated in an interview with The Observer. This drew criticism from media figures who had been protesting against the difficulties faced by older women in the media, including from Miriam O'Reilly, winner of an age discrimination case against the BBC.

In 2013 Titchmarsh was a reporter on BBC Two programme The Great British Winter. In 2014 Titchmarsh presented The Queen's Garden, a two-part series for ITV, that was filmed over one year. In 2015 Titchmarsh presented Britain's Best Back Gardens. In February 2016, Titchmarsh began presenting the daytime game show Masterpiece for ITV. In 2017 the Channel Five programme Secrets of the National Trust started airing with Alan Titchmarsh as the main presenter.


His first novel, Only Dad (2001), followed by six further books. Nobbut A Lad: A Yorkshire Childhood (2006) was an autobiographical work, followed by Trowel & Error (2002) and When I Was A Nipper (2010).

Titchmarsh has also published a series of gardening guides, the How to Garden series (2009).

Personal life

Titchmarsh married Alison in 1975 and they have two children. In 2002 he and his wife moved into a grade II listed Georgian Hampshire farmhouse, with a garden of 4 acres (1.6 ha). He also has a coastal home, near Cowes on the Isle of Wight, where he spends about a third of the year.

Titchmarsh is trustee of various charities, including Gardens for Schools, and Seeds for Africa. Gardens for Schools helped fund gardens and green spaces in and around schools, while Seeds for Africa encourages sustainable vegetable gardening. Titchmarsh has been involved with the Cowes inshore lifeboat, and with the National Maritime Museum.

In 2004 Titchmarsh became the president of Perennial, officially known as the Gardeners' Royal Benevolent Society. In 2010 Titchmarsh became president of the plant conservation charity Plant Heritage (previously the NCCPG).

Alan Titchmarsh plants tree on Bolsover Street
Titchmarsh at a tree-planting ceremony in 2011

In 2014 Titchmarsh was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian expressing their hope that Scotland would vote to remain part of the United Kingdom in September's referendum on that issue. Titchmarsh is a monarchist.

Titchmarsh is a bell ringer. In 2011 he rang a quarter peal in Holybourne, Hampshire, to celebrate the marriage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. In 2011 he participated in an Elm Tree Planting Ceremony to promote urban greening in London. He returned to the Marylebone and Fitzrovia area to plant a project's 1000th new tree in 2022.

Titchmarsh markets his own range of gardening tools, with manufacturer Bulldog Tools and works with Digitalis Media to promote Gardeners' Heaven, the online retail arm of his website, which supplies gardening products.

Honours and awards

Titchmarsh was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2000 New Year Honours for services to horticulture and broadcasting. He was made a Deputy Lieutenant (DL) of the County of Hampshire in 2001. In 2008, Titchmarsh served as High Sheriff of the Isle of Wight.

In 1999 Titchmarsh was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science (DSc) degree by the University of Bradford. He was made Patron at Writtle College, a university college in Essex, in 2001 and had a building named after him at the college in 2011 (the 'Titchmarsh Centre for Animal Studies'). In 2004, he was awarded the Royal Horticultural Society's Victoria Medal of Honour, the highest award the RHS can bestow. In 2007, he was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Winchester, and in 2014 was designated as the Chancellor of the university. He was honoured by the City of Westminster at a tree planting and plaque ceremony in 2011 and 2022. He is a Vice President of the Morriston Orpheus Choir. Titchmarsh has a wax statue at Madame Tussaud's.


Year Title Role Notes
1989–1994 Songs of Praise Presenter
2002 How To Be A Gardener Presenter
1983–2013 RHS Chelsea Flower Show Co-presenter
1991 Titchmarsh's Travels Presenter
1991–1996 Pebble Mill at One Presenter
1996–2002 Gardeners' World Presenter
1997–2002 Ground Force Presenter
2004 British Isles – A Natural History Presenter
2005 20th Century Roadshow Presenter
Gordon the Garden Gnome Voice of Gordon
2006 The Paul O'Grady Show Guest presenter 1 episode
2007 The Nature of Britain Presenter Documentary series
The Great British Village Show Presenter
2007–2014 The Alan Titchmarsh Show Presenter 15 series
2010 Popstar to Operastar Co-presenter Series 1; with Myleene Klass
2011—present Love Your Garden Co-presenter 8 series
2012 Elizabeth: Queen, Wife, Mother Presenter One-off programme
2013 The Great British Winter
2014 The Queen's Garden Presenter Two-part series
2015 Britain's Best Back Gardens Presenter 1 series
Titchmarsh on Capability Brown Presenter One-off documentary
2016–2017 Masterpiece with Alan Titchmarsh Co-presenter 2 series; with Rachel Houston-Holland
2016 Winnie-the-Pooh: The Most Famous Bear in the World Presenter One-off documentary
2017—present Secrets of the National Trust Presenter 2 series
2017 Royal Windsor Horse Show Live Presenter One-off special
Prince Philip: 70 Years of Service Presenter One-off special
2017—present Love Your Home and Garden Presenter 1 series
2020—present Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh Presenter 5 series
2021—present Alan Titchmarsh: Spring Into Summer Presenter 1 series
2021 Love Your Cottage Garden Special Presenter One-off special

See also

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