Alan Titchmarsh was drawn to gardening from an early age in Ilkley, Yorkshire, making his first polythene greenhouse at the age of twelve and deciding he was going to be a gardener when he grew up. He left school at fifteen and became an apprentice gardener in the Parks Department of Ilkley Urban District Council, going on to horticultural college at the age of 18. 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.
Alan experienced his first taste of television when there was a plague of greenfly on the south coast and he was approached to report on it in Margate for Nationwide. He says, "I suddenly tasted blood. It was wow!, I like this. I want to do more." He became a presenter of Daytime Live, a Birmingham-based chat show, interviewing stars like Placido Domingo, Barry Manilow and Julia Roberts. He also presented Songs of Praise but never forgot his gardening, and took to the screens as a gardener with the amazingly successful garden make-over programme, Ground Force, in 1997. As well as presenting the more 'serious' gardening programme, Gardener's World, Alan recently took viewers back to basics with the series How to be a Gardener and, having written a grand total of thirty-seven gardening books, he remains the UK's premier gardener.
[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]
Favourite track: Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams
Book: One of the 'Blandings' novels by P G Wodehouse
Luxury: A box of watercolours
Find every castaway from 1942 to the present. Listen to over 1,500 programmes.
Find castaways & choices
|Interviewed Guest||Alan Titchmarsh|