The world of TV gardening is poised for a veritable war of the roses as Alan Titchmarsh has signed a multi-million deal with ITV to front a new “peak-time gardening and lifestyle series” to rival the BBC’s Gardeners’ World.
Pouring cold water on any question of his loyalties, Titchmarsh insists “My greatest commitment has always been to the people at home who want reliable information put over in an easily accessible manner.”
The green-fingered Yorkshireman made his name hosting Gardeners’ World for six years before handing over the reins to Monty Don in 2003. Titchmarsh has now become something of a brand in his own right, authoring a slew of books, fronting a popular ITV1 chat show and even being voted by RadioTimes.com users as their favourite TV gardening presenter.
It will be the first time the commercial broadcaster has attempted a primetime gardening programme and it thus far remains unclear how the new deal will affect the BBC’s coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show, which Titchmarsh has hosted for years.
But with Monty Don slated to make his return to Gardeners’ World this autumn and Titchmarsh’s new show being touted as a direct competitor, only time will tell if the grass is really greener on the other side.
Whose show are you most looking forward to? Post a comment and let us know.