Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Alan Titchmarsh

Alan Titchmarsh is an English broadcaster, novelist, journalist and gardener. He is especially famous in the field of gardening programmes on British television. He presents programmes on the BBC TV and also BBC Radio 2. He considers his life as colourful and active.

Titchmarsh was born on 2 May 1949 in Ilkley in Yorkshire, England. He is the son of Bessie, a textile mill worker, and Alan Titchmarsh, a plumber. His sister, Kath, is five years younger than him. Titchmarsh developed his love of gardening at a young age. He went to Ilkley County Secondary School, leaving in 1964 at age fifteen to become an apprentice gardener. In 1972, he enrolled at the Shipley Art and Technology Institute to study a City and Guilds course in Horticulture. Following that, he studied at Hertfordshire College of Agriculture for his National Certificate in Horticulture. He then gained a Diploma in Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London.

Titchmarsh stayed at Kew, being employed as a supervisor and latterly as a staff trainer, leaving to pursue a career in gardening journalism in 1974. In 1979, after editing gardening books and magazines, he became a freelance writer and broadcaster, making his first appearance on BBC Nationwide. In 1996, he presented “Gardeners’ World” on BBC 2 from his own Hampshire garden. In 2002, he presented “How To Be A Gardener” before working on “British Isles – A Natural History” and then “The Nature Of Britain” both on BBC 1 and BBC 2. Later he also had programmes such as “The Proms” and “Songs of Praise” on television and “Melodies For You” which you can catch on Sunday evenings on BBC Radio 2. He has presented “The Alan Titchmarsh Show” since 2007 on the ITV.

He met his wife Alison in 1972 when he was still student at Kew and married her three years after in 1975. They have two daughters, Polly and Camilla. The family home is in Hampshire, England. Titchmarsh also keeps a second home on the Isle of Wight, where he likes to do most of his writing.

Patron and president of more than 30 charities, he is trustee of his own charity, “Gardens for Schools”, which helps with the funding of gardens and green spaces in and surrounding primary schools. “Seeds for Africa”, another charity of which he is trustee, is involved in encouraging sustainable vegetable gardening by providing communities with the seeds and tools, as well as the training required for starting their own vegetable gardens. The charity also prepares the land and provides water installation. His charitable work with wildlife includes being Vice President of Butterfly Conservation and he is a supporter of The Wildlife Trusts. In line with his love of boating, Titchmarsh is a trustee of the National Maritime Museum.
Désirée and Jennifer

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