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Well myself I'm thinking what took so long ? There's nobody else who could do it better than Monty for true hands on proper gardening the man who puts the culture into horticulture the organic icon its high time there was a repeat showing of the Geoff Hamilton era gardeners world 


Maybe it's an age thing, ( like your fave Dr Who ) but I reckon Geoff was the best ever. I have to disagree , I think many could do it better than Monty.


Its the newsgirl he is doing a double act with that surprises me - doesn't garden but "likes looking at them" ...... We shall see ....


Chicky I couldn't agree more. Sophie Rayworth is lovely ,I'm quite sure, and very good as a newsreader: but presenting Chelsea?????

There are tens of thousands of people in this country who earn their living in horticulture, couldn't the BBC find one of them ?

And, can I put in a plea for more garden shots and no tours of rather poor gardens of C list " celebrities" .These seem to be creeping into GW now. I'm perfectly fond of Sandi Toksvig, Julian Clary , Esther Ransen et al, but I'm not really interested in their gardens to be honest.


It seems bizarre and perverse to me.  Monty has always made clear his dislike of the razzmatazz of Chelsea preferring simpler shows like Malvern which are also closer to home.  

I've always enjoyed AT at the helm at Chelsea as he combines so well the role of gardening knowledge and expertise with ease in front of the camera and with other people from all walks of life.  He's also desiged a garden and won gold at Chelsea which MD has never even attempted. 

Sophie Rayworth has to be an improvement on Nikki Chapman who has no shame in showings he knows nothing abut plants and gardening even after all the years she's been doing daytime Chelsea.   I sincerely hope she bringe her intelligence to the role.

I too can do without poking around "celebrity" gardens.  I want to see good gardens so for me it would be better to show case yellow Book gardens - but not during Chelsea coverage.  There I want to see the gardens, big and small, in the show and the nurserymen and women who combines all their skills and experience to bring wonderful plants to exhibit.



Its the cost of appealing to a wider audience, it happens all over the BBC when they bring in presenters to attract a different demographic, i.e Richard Hammond from Top Gear presenting a wildlife series.

It will only change if viewing figures are seen to be dropping but most of us will still watch as gardening programmes are so scarce.

I agree that Geoff Hamilton was a fantastic presenter of Gardeners World but I have warmed to Monty, on his first stint on Gardeners World I really was'nt a fan but since his return I think his approach his very informative.


Presenting GW is very different from presenting Chelsea which is watched by and appeals to non gardeners and gardeners alike.  I can't really see Monty's devout approach to gardening inspiring non gardeners to take up a trowel whereas AT's sense of fun and wonder surely does.

The introduction of Sophie Raworth and other non-gardeners is just more evidence of the dumbing down of TV.  I have no problem with the inclusion of enthusiastic amateurs but for somebody to state they basically aren't interested in gardening and then present this seems perverse.

Somewhat different with Richard Hammond as he's been wildlife mad all his life.  That said I thought "Africa Live" or whatever it was called was rubbish - not his fault.  Whoever thought it would be a good idea to have a live show like that, on peak time evening TV, from an area 3 or 4 hours ahead of us?  It's dark then you numpties!!!


Much as I like Monty, I have to agree with Obelixx that Chelsea is all about "fluff" and that his style is not really appropriate, whereas ATs warmth and presentational skills are ideal.

How about Diarmuid Gavin to shake things up a bit?


Oh no - not DG pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease!!!!


I would much rather have a good presenter with a fun personality and willingness to learn and listen than an "expert" gardener who doesn't know how to present nor act to the camera. We have Monty for his expertise hopefully this other lass will keep us all excited.


I'll reserve judgement until I've seen them. But I thought Alan T. was good as a presenter of Chelsea, lively, intelligent, a real gardener. I do think, though, that the girl presenter should also be a gardener, not just a pretty face, and I'm sure there are plenty of girl gardeners with pretty faces.


Dove, I was only being mischievous, although I do find him entertaining. His 2011 Chelsea garden was a truly wonderful creation as well.

punkdoc wrote (see)

Dove, I was only being mischievous ....

So I would hope Doc  - I'm sure he's a very nice man, but I find fewer celeb gardeners more irritating than DG, and for an Irishman to have so much difficulty in talking intelligibly is surely a contradiction in terms 

As for Sophie Raworth - I think the idea is that they need someone very used to live broadcasting - all sorts of things can go wrong and no matter how experienced someone is to recording a programme, coping on live tv when something unexpected happens needs someone with real skill and experience - a safe pair of hands - Sophie Raworth has proved she is definitely that - and she's said that she comes from a family of keen gardeners - many people don't get the chance to become gardeners until they retire - doesn't mean they're not interested.

She's not there to be a gardener - she's a professional presenter - a different thing altogether. 


As lovely as Sophie undoubtedly is, and professional and aritculate , etc etc. Would that same criteria get her a presenter's job on, for example, Match of the Day? No way José.

Perhaps find someone young(ish) to try to encourage a younger audience, but they MUST know their subject matter. In my humble opinion.



But isn't that the point?  She takes the role of Everyman, asking the questions that ordinary people would ask if they were there - whereas Monty will tackle the more specialised 'plantsman's issues'.


we'll have to agree to disagree. The questions will be fed to her by the production team and they'll not come across as spontaneous. My opinion is that MD is such a control freak ,he'd never work with another gardener. And I know many who'd refuse to work with him. Have you ever seen anyone plant anything  in her garden on GW? I haven't. Joe Swift moved some stones about, but never planted anything.


clearly I meant "in HIS garden" oops



 To be honest - I'm not sure I'd let anyone else (other than OH) plant anything in my garden either - it's my garden   

I probably wouldn't mind if they did some digging - but I'd have to supervise 


I used to think I didn't want anyone else messing in my garden and certainly can't afford to let OH loose unsupervised as he is an indiscriminate weeder.  For years i've had th emost expensive compost heap in Belgium as he blitzes treasures and weeds alike - too hard to work round goodies apparently.

Anyway, we all know Monty has help in his garden even if he doesn't acknowledge it on GW and I no longer find ita  problem having someone else knowledgeable in teh garden as Iv'e had to accept help recently.   Since having neck surgery in March 2012 and ops on both feet in turn in Jan and April 2013 my garden has been going to pot so I now have someone who comes in and does 5 hours work every 2 weeks.  She's great and very good at weeding which is a boon as my garden is surrounded by pasture and arable land and ull of invasive weeds invading from left and right.

I am careful to give her things to plant as well as just weeding and digging so she can share the pleasures and it's worked very well so far.  We've started swapping plants as she takes away spares form mine that she doesn't have herself or can plant in other people's gardens and she brings me goodies from her own garden.

Monty should relax a bit.

I have also now read the press coverage of the switch to M from AT and it looks to me as though the Beeb has decided to fix the bit of Chelsea coverage that wasn't broken and has lost AT as a result.  Too stoopid.    I shall wait and see but I rather suspect that with MD at the helm it's going to be another snooze fest - like GW.  Either that or a dangerous rise in blood pressure from frustration with gimmicky coverage as the Beeb tries to change the demographics.