Alan Titchmarsh

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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)
EducationHertfordshire College of Agriculture and Horticulture
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Occupation(s)Broadcaster, gardener, novelist, poet
Years active1974–present
TelevisionGardeners' 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)

Alan Fred Titchmarsh MBE DL VMH HonFSE[1] (born 2 May 1949) is an English gardener, broadcaster, TV presenter, poet, and novelist. After working as a professional gardener and a gardening journalist, he established himself as a media personality through appearances on television gardening programmes. He has developed a diverse writing and broadcasting career.

Early career[edit]

Alan Fred Titchmarsh[2] was born on 2 May 1949 in Ilkley, West Riding of Yorkshire, England.[3][failed verification] He is the son of Bessie (née Hardisty), a textile mill worker, and Alan Fred Titchmarsh senior, a plumber.[4] 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.[5][6] 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. His interest in English literature and writing prompted him to apply for a job as assistant editor of gardening books at Hamlyn Publishing and he began to write gardening books of his own, publishing his first in 1976.[5]


Titchmarsh at the Chelsea Flower Show 2014

Titchmarsh's first few television appearances were on the long-running BBC television show Nationwide as a horticulture expert. This led to his being invited to present coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show for BBC television in 1983. Titchmarsh hosted this every year until 2013.[6] He also appeared on other BBC shows, such as Breakfast Time and Open Air as either a guest presenter or as a gardening expert.[citation needed]

In 1991, Titchmarsh was brought in to host the long-running BBC television talk show Pebble Mill, which he did until its cancellation in 1996. In 1991, he presented a 6-part series in which he followed in the footsteps of the pilgrims, travelling around Britain and Ireland in the process.[7]

In 1996, Titchmarsh took over as host of another long-running BBC series, Gardeners' World, the show being filmed in his own garden. In 1997, he took gardening to the masses with BBC One television series, Ground Force, in which he and fellow presenters Charlie Dimmock and Tommy Walsh would perform a makeover on a garden.[6] The show has travelled as far as the United States and South Africa, where one episode saw the Ground Force team make over Nelson Mandela's garden.[8]

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

Staying involved in gardening programmes 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. In recent years, he has done less television and radio and spent more time on his career as a novelist and renewed interest in writing gardening books.

Titchmarsh has appeared in an advertisement for the Yorkshire Tourist Board (now Welcome To Yorkshire) as part as of a series which included contributions from other Yorkshire-born celebrities including Brian Blessed, Melanie Brown, Darren Gough and Brian Turner. He occasionally does other voiceover work for advertisements as well as voicing the title character in Gordon the Garden Gnome, a cartoon series for the CBeebies channel.[9] In autumn 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.[10]

Other work includes hosting a 2005 special edition of the Antiques Roadshow, entitled the 20th Century Roadshow, which focused on modern collectables, 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 while O'Grady was off for medical reasons.

In 2007 Titchmarsh hosted The Great British Village Show, in which gardeners and cooks from all over Britain competed to be the best at growing pumpkins, runner beans and tomatoes, and at knitting, baking cakes and making jam.[10] In September 2007 Titchmarsh began presenting his afternoon ITV chat show The Alan Titchmarsh Show which aired in the 3.00 pm afternoon slot. The show ended in November 2014.

In 2010 Titchmarsh presented the first series of Popstar to Operastar with Myleene Klass. Since 2011, he has presented gardening show Love Your Garden.

On 1 June 2012 he presented Elizabeth: Queen, Wife, Mother on ITV and was criticised the following day, for his obsequiousness, in a review by Sam Wollaston for The Guardian.[11]

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.[12] 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.[13][14]

In spring 2013 Titchmarsh was a reporter on BBC Two programme The Great British Winter. In December 2014 Titchmarsh presented a two-part series for ITV called The Queen's Garden that was filmed over a time period of one year.[15][16]

In January 2015 Titchmarsh presented Britain's Best Back Gardens.[17] In February 2016, Titchmarsh began presenting the daytime game show Masterpiece for ITV.

In February 2017, the Channel Five programme Secrets of the National Trust started airing with Alan Titchmarsh as the main presenter alongside other well known celebrities.[18]


In 1988 Titchmarsh was offered a slot on BBC Radio 2 hosting a gardening show with Gloria Hunniford called House in a Garden.[19]

In January 2006, Titchmarsh was given a permanent slot on BBC Radio 2 on Sunday evenings with the show "Melodies for you" consisting of light classical and popular music, following the traditional style of Sunday-night broadcasting on Radio 2. In August 2011, Titchmarsh left Radio 2. Since January 2012, he has hosted a Saturday morning show on Classic FM.[citation needed]


His first novel, Only Dad, was published in November 2001. A further six books have since been published.[20] Running parallel to the fiction work, Titchmarsh published a new series of gardening guides, the How to Garden series, in April 2009. His second autobiographical work is Nobbut A Lad: A Yorkshire Childhood from October 2006, a follow-up to his first autobiography, Trowel & Error, published in 2002. When I Was A Nipper was published on 30 September 2010.

Personal life[edit]

Titchmarsh has been married to Alison since 1975 and they have two children.[21][22]

In addition to his extensive television and writing work, Titchmarsh is also trustee of a charity, 'Gardens for Schools', and others, including 'Seeds for Africa'. Gardens for Schools helped fund gardens and green spaces in and around schools, while Seeds for Africa encourages sustainable vegetable gardening. It provides community groups with the tools, seeds and training they need to start their own vegetable gardens including providing water installation and preparing the land. Gardens for Schools has since been merged with the RHS Campaign for School Gardening. Away from horticulture, Titchmarsh has been involved with the Cowes inshore lifeboat, where he was patron until 2008,[23] and with the National Maritime Museum, where he was a trustee until December 2008.[24]

In 2004 Titchmarsh became the president of Perennial, officially known as the Gardeners' Royal Benevolent Society. Perennial is one of the UK's oldest charities and was created in 1839 to help gardeners and horticulturists facing times of difficulty.[25]

In 2010 Titchmarsh became president of the plant conservation charity Plant Heritage (previously the NCCPG).

Titchmarsh has a wax statue at Madame Tussaud's.[26]

Titchmarsh at a tree-planting ceremony in 2011[27]

In August 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.[28] Titchmarsh is a monarchist.[29]

Titchmarsh is an occasional practitioner of church bellringing. In 2011 he rang a quarter peal in Holybourne, Hampshire, to celebrate the marriage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.[30]

In 2011 he participated in an Elm Tree Planting Ceremony to promote urban greening in London.[27][31] He returned to the Marylebone and Fitzrovia area to plant a project's 1000th new tree in 2022.[32][33]

Titchmarsh moved to his home, a grade II listed Georgian farmhouse in Hampshire, in 2002.[34] He also has a coastal home, near Cowes on the Isle of Wight, where he spends about a third of the year.[35]

Honours and awards[edit]

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.[36] He was made a Deputy Lieutenant (DL) of the County of Hampshire in 2001.[37] In 2008, Titchmarsh served as High Sheriff of the Isle of Wight.[38]

In 1999, Titchmarsh was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science (DSc) degree by the University of Bradford.[39] 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.[40] 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.[41][33] He is a Vice President of the Morriston Orpheus Choir.[42]

Other projects[edit]

Titchmarsh has launched his own range of gardening tools, developed in conjunction with manufacturer Bulldog Tools. He has worked with Digitalis Media to launch "Gardeners' Heaven", the online retail arm of his website, which supplies his tools as well as other popular gardening products.[43]

Titchmarsh played the Pope in Sister Act: The Musical at the Minack Theatre, Porthcurno, Cornwall in the BROS Theatre Company Production on 29 May 2019. He appeared in the final act of the show.[44]



  • Alan Titchmarsh – Creating Garden Pools, 1984 (ISBN 0-600-30707-7)
  • Alan Titchmarsh – The Gardener's Year, 2005 (ISBN 0-563-52167-8)
  • Alan Titchmarsh's Fill My Stocking, 2005 (ISBN 0-563-48862-X)
  • The Complete How to Be a Gardener, 2005 (ISBN 0-563-52262-3)
  • British Isles, 2005 (ISBN 0-563-52162-7)
  • England, Our England, 2007 (ISBN 978-0-340-95303-7)
  • Nature of Britain, 2007 (ISBN 0-563-49398-4)
  • The Kitchen Gardener – Grow Your Own Fruit & Veg, 2008 (ISBN 978-1-84607-201-7)
  • How to Garden: Gardening in the Shade, 2009 (ISBN 978-1-84607-395-3)
  • How to Garden: Vegetables and Herbs, 2009 (ISBN 978-1-84607-396-0)
  • How to Garden: Container Gardening, 2009 (ISBN 978-1-84607-399-1)
  • How to Garden: Garden Design, 2009 (ISBN 978-1-84607-397-7)
  • How to Garden: Lawns, Paths and Patios, 2009 (ISBN 978-1-84607-398-4)
  • How to Garden: Pruning and Training, 2009 (ISBN 978-1-84607-400-4)
  • How to Garden: Growing Fruit, 2010 (ISBN 978-1-84607-401-1)
  • How to Garden: Flowering Shrubs, 2010 (ISBN 978-1-84607-402-8)
  • How to Garden: Climbers and Wall Shrubs, 2010 (ISBN 978-1-84607-403-5)
  • How to Garden: Greenhouse Gardening, 2010 (ISBN 978-1-84607-404-2)
  • How to Garden: Perennial Garden Plants, 2010 (ISBN 978-1-84607-911-5)
  • Elizabeth: Her Life, Our Times, Ebury Press 2012 (ISBN 978-1-84607-394-6)
  • The Queen's Houses, BBC Books 2014 (ISBN 1849902178)
  • Lost Skills and Crafts Handbook: A Guide to the Old Ways of Country Life Hardcover, BBC Books 2021 (ISBN 178594701X)[45]




  • Marigolds, Myrtle and Moles: A Gardener's Bedside Book, Hodder & Stoughton 2020 {ISBN 978-1-529-31115-0)


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 4 series
2021—present Alan Titchmarsh: Spring Into Summer Presenter 1 series[47]
2021 Love Your Cottage Garden Special Presenter One-off special[48]


  1. ^ "Society for the Environment". 2022. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  2. ^ "Alan Fred TITCHMARSH personal appointments – Find and update company information – GOV.UK".
  3. ^ "My childhood – Alan Titchmarsh". Retrieved 17 September 2011.
  4. ^ Barratt, Nick (14 July 2007). "Family detective". Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 3 July 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Alan Titchmarsh on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs". 7 July 2002. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  6. ^ a b c "BBC – Programmes – Alan Titchmarsh". BBC. Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Titchmarsh's Travels (TV series) | BFI". 7 February 2015. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Mandela's green-fingered makeover". BBC News. 14 December 1999. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  9. ^ [1] Archived 18 June 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ a b "". Archived from the original on 13 June 2007.
  11. ^ Wollaston, Sam (2 June 2012). "Elizabeth: Queen, Wife, Mother – review". The Guardian. London.
  12. ^ Thorpe, Vanessa (22 June 2013). "Alan Titchmarsh: this much I know". The Observer. London. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  13. ^ Marsden, Sam (23 June 2013). "Alan Titchmarsh: Older women TV presenters shouldn't whinge about lack of work". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  14. ^ "Women stars furious over Alan Titchmarsh attack on ageism 'whingeing'". The London Evening Standard. 24 June 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  15. ^ "The Queen's Garden Episode 1". Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  16. ^ Palmer, Richard (31 October 2014). "Alan Titchmarsh reveals secrets of Queen's garden in new ITV show". Daily Express. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  17. ^ "Britain's Best Back Gardens Episode 1". 6 January 2015. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  18. ^ "Secrets of the National Trust revealed in new Channel 5 TV series – The National Trust". Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  19. ^ "r2ok ! the British pre-pop music website". Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  20. ^ "". Archived from the original on 4 November 2006.
  21. ^ "Alan Titchmarsh – Biography on Bio". Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2011.
  22. ^ "My family – Alan Titchmarsh". Retrieved 16 February 2011.
  23. ^ "Cowes Inshore Lifeboat, Registered Charity Number 1063407, Patron ~ Alan Titchmarsh". Archived from the original on 17 May 2008.
  24. ^ "National Maritime Museum Annual Report and Accounts 2008–2009" (PDF). The Stationery Office. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 July 2019. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  25. ^ Donate Now. "Perennial". Perennial. Archived from the original on 28 July 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  26. ^ "Titchmarsh gets waxover". BBC News. 27 October 2000. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  27. ^ a b "Alan Titchmarsh completes the greening of Bolsover Street". April 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  28. ^ "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories". The Guardian. London. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  29. ^ Rush, Natasha (14 May 2012). "Alan Titchmarsh on royal watch". Telegraph and Argus. Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  30. ^ "Ringing World BellBoard". Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  31. ^ "A quick word with Alan Titchmarsh about urban tree planting on Bolsover Street". Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  32. ^ w1wtrees (23 June 2022). "Marylebone and Fitzrovia – Over 1,000 new trees now added to neighbourhood". Marylebone and Fitzrovia's W1W Street Tree Planting Initiative. Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  33. ^ a b "Alan Titchmarsh plants 1,000th new tree for Marylebone and Fitzrovia". Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  34. ^ Wintle, Interview by Angela (4 March 2018). "Alan Titchmarsh on restoring his listed farmhouse". Retrieved 22 July 2018 – via
  35. ^ "My Coast: Alan Titchmarsh – Coast Magazine". 11 January 2017. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  36. ^ "No. 55710". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1999. p. 32.
  37. ^ "No. 56370". The London Gazette. 26 October 2001. p. 12611.
  38. ^ "Alan Titchmarsh High Sheriff of the Isle of Wight". Southern Daily Echo. 1 April 2008. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
  39. ^ "Times Higher Education – Glittering prizes". The Times. 16 July 1999. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  40. ^ "Alan Titchmarsh Biography". BBC Radio 2. BBC. Retrieved 16 February 2011.
  41. ^ "Alan Titchmarsh lends expert hand with elms in Bolsover Street". West End Extra. 8 April 2011. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
  42. ^ "Choir Members". Retrieved 25 May 2023.
  43. ^ "Gardeners' Heaven Garden Tools". Archived from the original on 10 September 2011.
  44. ^ Bale, Bernard. "Everything's on song for garden guru and music lover Alan Titchmarsh".
  45. ^ Lost Skills and Crafts Handbook: A Guide to the Old Ways of Country Life. ASIN 178594701X.
  46. ^ The Scarlet Nightingale. ASIN 1473658349.
  47. ^ "Alan Titchmarsh: Spring Into Summer". Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  48. ^ "Love Your Cottage Garden Special". Retrieved 26 August 2021.

External links[edit]