It’s time for one of Britain’s most recognisable TV personalities to take his place at the top table
50 Shades Of Green, Tuesday 20 August, TBC, ITV/ITV HD (CH 103/113). Also available for 7 days in Catch Up > Channels > ITV Hub
Attenborough. Dench. Beckham. Mirren. Edmonds. We could go on. The list of UK national treasures is a long one, yet one name from this celebrated group of icons remains conspicuously absent: Alan Titchmarsh.
The green-fingered TV presenter has been entertaining us for more than four decades, and to mark his 70th birthday he’s counting down his favourite things found in the UK’s gardens in one-off special 50 Shades Of Green on ITV.
Shining a light on a host of unique British gardens, expect celebrity friends, personal stories and even a glimpse at Alan’s own garden, as this proud Yorkshireman celebrates the great, the good and the green across the nation.
But enough of that. The fact of the matter is it’s nothing short of scandalous how Titchmarsh’s name is continually left out when talking about national treasures. We want to put that right. Here are five reasons he deserves to be mentioned in such esteemed company…
His TV success is impressive
Songs Of Praise, RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Gardeners World, Ground Force, The Alan Titchmarsh Show… Alan has helmed some of British telly’s most loved shows down the years. If a striking CV is the bedrock of becoming a national treasure, he’s certainly got one of those.
He’s made gardening accessible
It’s hard to think of any other public figure in the UK who is as synonymous with horticulture as Titchmarsh. His friendly yet knowledgeable approach to gardening has opened up this positive, mindful and therapeutic world to a huge amount of people. And that can only be a good thing.
He’s a sex symbol
Back in 2001, Titchmarsh was bestowed with that ultimate celebrity honour: he was immortalised as a life-sized waxwork model at Madame Tussaud’s. He later revealed that the face of his statue had to be cleaned twice a week to remove all the lipstick marks left by enthusiastic fans.
He’s not afraid to cry
“The family has a competition to see who can get me going at Christmas,” he told The Guardian in 2013. “The last time I blubbed was on my birthday, when my daughter gave me a framed photo of my 15-month-old grandson Hugo, but I have been known to shed a tear at The Railway Children or Pretty Woman.”
He’s a poet
Titchmarsh’s talents go way beyond the garden. Whether it’s his three memoirs, nine novels or charming poetry, he’s also been known to turn his muddy hands to the written word. Here he is reading one of his own poems, set to some classical music. You can thank us later.
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