Monty Don has become a legend to his followers in the world of gardening. He’s been fortunate enough to turn his horticultural passion into a career. He has presented the BBC’s Gardeners’ World since 2003.
Eight years later, in 2011, the green-fingered expert began hosting the show from his sprawling home in Herefordshire.
A self-confessed workaholic, Monty took on the additional role of becoming one of the main hosts of the famous Chelsea Flower Show in 2014.
With this year’s show cancelled, contestants presented their displays from their own homes, with Monty presenting a slew of programmes across the one-week festival last month.
A career in broadcasting was never the goal.
Yet, television, as Monty has admitted several times during interviews, has been the making of him.
Despite this, during a 2009 Guardian interview, Monty revealed that he had a certain hatred of the world of television.
He said: “It is a fantastic way of reaching lots of people – and I love that.
“I like the people I work with.
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“But I loathe the world of television.”
His identity has become split since becoming a famous face.
On TV he is Monty; at home, Montagu.
He explained: “You’d be amazed, but I can’t go anywhere without being recognised.
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“I have no privacy in public – it is a dreadful intrusion.”
Before TV stardom, Monty and his wife, Sarah, owned and ran a jewellery business in London.
Disillusioned with city living and the weight of a business, Monty and Sarah jumped ship and bought a house in Herefordshire with land.
This was the beginning of their troubles.
Their previous London home had not sold, and there was still a business to be run.
The business fell apart and Monty, almost ignoring the world around him, gardened their New Hereford home so relentlessly Sarah described him as having been “married” to it.
A loan to buy a farm and subsequent crash of the business left Monty and his family in severe debt and near-bankruptcy.
For two years their unemployment was deep rooted.
Then, after a long jobless season, Monty struck gold and managed a slot on a TV gardening segment in the early Nineties.
The rest is history.
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