Alan Titchmarsh has stepped down as presenter of the BBC’s coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show after 30 years. Photograph: Richard Saker
Titchmarsh stepped down from the show after the BBC decided to revamp the way it covers the flagship Royal Horticultural Society event, marking the end of the presenter’s long association with the corporation.
The BBC’s new presenting lineup will feature Monty Don, the current presenter of Gardeners’ World on BBC2, and BBC News presenter Sophie Raworth.
They will join other Gardeners’ World (and Chelsea Flower Show) regulars Joe Swift, Carol Klein and Rachel de Thame for 12 hours of coverage from west London on BBC1 and BBC2.
Titchmarsh, who has presented the Chelsea flower show on the BBC since 1983, said: “I really enjoyed my 30 years of presenting Chelsea Flower Show coverage for the BBC and wish the new team every success.”
Titchmarsh left his role as anchor of Gardeners’ World in 2002, moving to an afternoon chat show on ITV. He had a show on Radio 2 for four years until 2011 and can now be heard on Classic FM.
The BBC said: “The way the Chelsea coverage will be presented across the BBC has changed for 2014, and Alan decided to step away from next year’s show.”
The corporation said it would announce more details of its new-look coverage at a later date.
Monty Don is a familiar face to green-fingered BBC viewers, but the show marks a departure for Raworth, a familiar BBC face from the BBC’s weekday lunchtime news bulletin.
Raworth said: “I am delighted and honoured to be a part of the Chelsea 2014 team. I grew up in a family of very keen gardeners, so know something about the joys and sheer hard work that go in to creating such beautiful places.”
Don added: “It is great to be back at Chelsea and I am looking forward to celebrating all the best of British horticulture with the nation’s gardeners.”
Alison Kirkham, executive producer of the BBC’s Chelsea coverage, said: “We’re incredibly proud to be covering the RHS Chelsea Flower Show again this year. It is a much anticipated event for many and a real inspiration to all the passionate gardeners in our audience.”
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