Entertainment UK

Alan Titchmarsh’s joke in front of Queen and Prince Charles about their outfits


In his own words, TV gardening hero Alan Titchmarsh here shares some of the lessons he’s learned in life…

You’ve done well in life if you can bring up daughters who are still speaking to you!

It’s by the grace of God that they still laugh with me – and at me. If you can get through the door slams when they’re younger and give advice only when they ask for it when they’re grown ups – you’ve cracked it.

I’m a parent first and a friend second. You just have to keep communication going even when you don’t always see eye to eye.

Being able to pass on my love for natural history is such a great delight.

My grandchildren love running around my garden. The eldest, who’s eight, and I went finding butterflies last week and spent hours trying to catch a glimpse of them.

He’s very interested in what they all are and I’m able to tell him. That’s a huge blessing.

Alan Titchmarsh hosts a new ITV show, Love Your Weekend
Alan hosts a new ITV show, Love Your Weekend

Go where you’re led.It’s the best advice I’d give anyone.

If you’re open, and travel, and try new things, you find what you’re good at. If someone sees something in you and suggests you try something, try it. Just discover your natural ability. That’s the greatest gift of all.

Gardening advice has got me pretty far in life and growing things is my true love.

Without gardening, I would go spare. Nature wants to grow, so I love helping it get there and creating beautiful views.

It’s creative and challenging. If you design a room, your furniture stays in place. Gardens change with the season. It’s so exciting to see. Yet terribly boring for others!

Alan Titchmarsh with Charlie Dimmock, Nelson Mandela and Tommy Walsh on Ground Force
Alan with Charlie Dimmock, Nelson Mandela and Tommy Walsh on Ground Force

My earliest memory is being in my grandfather’s allotment aged 18 months.

He’s leading me past a row of sweet peas that tower high above me. He’s a classic 1950s grandpa with a walrus ‘tache and a trilby. It’s a fabulous memory and where it all began.

My confidence took a long time to develop.

I was very oversensitive as a child, I still am now! It’s a shame really, as you feel wounds much deeper than you should. But the industry helped me. Not everyone is going to like you and you have to deal with that.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Well, it was. Now they invent something and then work out why we need it. That’s why I’m useless at IT.

I have my laptop to write, but it bores me rigid to do anything technical.

If you’re not careful, your entire life is dominated by the internet and you forget to get up and smell the roses. I want life to be raw. Feeling things, smelling them, taking it all in.

Alan Titchmarsh with the Queen at Westminster Abbey in June 2018
Alan with the Queen at Westminster Abbey in 2018 – where he cracked an unlikely joke

Alan Titchmarsh’s favourite photo and the secret joke he made…

I’ve been allowed to do so much. It’s scary – flown a Spitfire, presented the Proms, sat next to the Queen at luncheon… and this day was very special for me.

I’d approached Westminster Abbey about possibly erecting a plaque in honour of Lancelot Brown, one of Britain’s finest landscapers.

Those beautiful oak trees lining glorious rivers? That’s what he gave us. They said, ‘Oh, what about a fountain!’ and I thought, ‘Crumbs, I better sort this out.’

But it turned out wonderfully and I was asked to attend a ceremony where we opened it.

Here in the gallery room, the Prince of Wales commented that my tie was the same colour as the Queen’s suit.

I made a joke and said I’d called ahead and discussed it with her, and that’s what we’re having a chuckle about.

Moments like this I’m always waiting for someone to say, ‘You’re not supposed to be here!’.

So I’m lucky I’ve always had such stimulating experiences. As for the kids, they don’t care. ‘Oh, it’s just Dad!’ is all they say.

– Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh starts on Sunday, September 6 at 9.25am on ITV


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