Author, presenter and renowned speaker Alan Titchmarsh MBE is one of Britain's most well-known and best-loved gardeners, having fronted the BBC's hugely successful 'Ground Force' and 'Gardener's World'. He is a fantastic asset to any event.
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He has twice been named 'Gardening Writer of the Year' and for four successive years was voted 'Television Personality of the Year' by the Garden Writers' Guild. In 2004 he received their Lifetime Achievement Award. He writes regularly in BBC 'Gardeners' World Magazine', as well as being gardening correspondent for the 'Daily Express' and 'Sunday Express'. He also writes a weekly column for the 'Radio Times'. He won a Gold Medal at the Chelsea Flower Show in 1985 for a country kitchen garden.
Alan Titchmarsh was born and brought up on the edge of Ilkley Moor in Yorkshire and started growing things at the age of ten in his parents' back garden. He left school at 15 and became an apprentice gardener in the local nursery, following this with full time training at horticultural college and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. After a spell as Supervisor of Staff Training at Kew he became a horticultural journalist, first as an editor of gardening books, then as Deputy Editor of 'Amateur Gardening' magazine before becoming a freelance broadcaster and writer.
Alan has written around forty gardening books, including the fastest-selling gardening book of all time – ‘How to be a Gardener Book 1 - The Basics’, which topped the best seller lists for the best part of a year. ‘Book 2 - Secrets of Success’ also shot to the top of the charts. His novels – ‘Mr MacGregor’ (1998), ‘The Last Lighthouse Keeper’ (1999), ‘Animal Instincts’ (2000), ‘Only Dad’ (2001), ‘Rosie’ (2004), ‘Love and Dr. Devon’ (2007) and ‘Folly’ (2008) were also best sellers, and his memoirs ‘Trowel and Error’ (2002) sold over 200,000 copies in hardback. His second memoirs ‘Nobbut a Lad: A Yorkshire Childhood’ was published in 2006 and ‘When I Was A Nipper: The Way We Were In Disappearing Britain’ was published in 2010. His venture, a cabaret show called, ‘Up The Garden Path With Alan Titchmarsh: A Musical Evening Rescued by Kit and the Widow’ was first shown in May 2010 in Guilford.
Alan has appeared on radio and television both as a gardening expert and as an interviewer and presenter, fronting such programmes as ‘Points of View’, ‘Pebble Mill’, ‘Songs of Praise’, ‘Titchmarsh's Travels’, ‘The BBC Proms’ and ‘Ask the Family’. He has also presented the BBC's annual coverage of The Chelsea Flower Show since 1983. For seven years Alan was the main presenter of BBC2's ‘Gardeners' World’, which came from his own garden - Barleywood in Hampshire - and took gardening on to BBC1 with the hugely popular ‘Ground Force’, which, at its peak, pulled in 12 million viewers. During the course of the series, Alan designed over 60 gardens, including one for Nelson Mandela. These programmes were followed by two series of ‘How to be a Gardener’, and by ‘The Royal Gardeners’, which traced the influence of the kings and queens of England on gardening styles from the Norman Conquest to the present day. In 2004 Alan presented ‘British Isles - A Natural History’ - a landmark television series for BBC 1, in 2005 he was seen as the presenter of ‘20th Century Roadshow’, about 20th century collectables, and heard as the voice of ‘Gordon the Garden Gnome’ in a cartoon series for children's BBC.
Alan Titchmarsh is a Freeman of the City of London, he has received the award of Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Bradford, and Honorary Doctor of the University from the University of Essex and from Leeds Metropolitan University. In 1997 he was named 'Yorkshireman of the Year'. He was appointed MBE in the 2000 New Year Honours list, for services to horticulture and broadcasting, and a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Hampshire in 2001. In 2004 he was awarded the Royal Horticultural Society's highest accolade - the Victoria Medal of Honour - for outstanding services to horticulture. The VMH is held by no more than 63 recipients at any one time. In 2008, Alan was honoured as the Isle of Wight ‘High Sheriff’. He has also been immortalized in Madame Tussaud's.
He is a trustee of the National Maritime Museum, and patron or president of more than 30 charities as well as being the founder and trustee of Alan Titchmarsh's Gardens for Schools, which makes grants to primary schools for gardens and nature areas. Alan lives in Hampshire with his wife, family and assorted livestock in an old farmhouse with a 2-acre garden. When not tending that, or his family, or the animals, he enjoys being out on the water in an old boat which he keeps on the Isle of Wight where he also has a second home.