‘I miss you old chap’ Monty Don’s heartbreaking message to golden retriever Nigel

Monty Don is one of, if not the best, known TV gardener in the UK. Fans of his main rival and colleague, Alan Titchmarsh, argue Monty will always trail in popularity. Yet, Monty himself has built up something of a cult following.

Every Friday he pops up onto screens across the UK, on the BBC’s flagship gardening show, Gardeners’ World.

He became the programme’s main host in 2003, working alongside the likes of Alan and others.

He’s presented it ever since, enjoying a career with the BBC spanning 17 years.

Then, in 2011, Monty started presenting from the comfort of his Herefordshire home.

It wasn’t that difficult for him to make the change, given his sweeping garden and acres of land.

Other avenues have seen Monty presenting the Chelsea Flower Show.

He became one of the show’s main presenters in 2014.

His role was, however, momentarily disrupted amid the coronavirus outbreak.

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The show was forced to abandon its regular proceedings and, instead, featured competitors presenting their displays from their households.

It was a devastating blow as many had been preparing for the show for well over a year.

Monty quite literally has a finger in every horticultural pie, though, and all of this makes for quite the hectic life when juggling the needs of a thriving family.

The gardener was forced to slow things down earlier this year when his well-known and beloved golden retriever, Nigel, sadly passed away.


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Nigel often made cameo appearances during Gardeners’ World, with Monty regularly posting snaps of him on his social media.

The most ardent of Monty’s fans would have grown accustomed to seeing Nigel – he became something of a celebrity in his own right.

In July, Monty took to Instagram to post an old picture of Nigel.

In the caption, he wrote: “Found this from last year. They made a good pair. Miss the old chap.”

Nigel was “suddenly taken ill” in May.

In the same month, Monty shared with his Instagram followers the sad news.

He wrote: “To the end he was happy, healthy and his usual calm, lovely self.

“He slipped quietly away with no pain or suffering and is now buried in the garden with lots of tennis balls.”

Last year, Don revealed on Twitter that Nigel had had surgery to remove some growths from his mouth.

Speaking in 2016, Don revealed that Nigel had helped him through “dark periods” of depression.

“If you are unwell, physically or mentally, a dog is a huge comfort,” he told an audience at the Cheltenham Literary Festival.

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