Joe Swift: Gardeners’ World star speaks out on Monty Don amid former host’s exit

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Joe Swift has been a part of the Gardeners’ World team since 1998 and has since become one of the main presenters of the show. The BBC host has opened up about his former colleague Alan Titchmarsh who stepped down from the role and was later replaced by Monty Don on the gardening show in 2002.

The 55-year-old revealed he is “good mates” with Alan as he addressed the different hosting styles between his pal and Monty.

Alan first joined BBC’s Gardeners’ World in 1995 but left the programme after seven years.

Joe admitted that the former presenter “took him under his wing” after he joined the presenting line-up.

He also praised his co-star Monty for putting a “slightly different angle” on hosting segments of the gardening show.

“Me and Alan are good mates so we get to see each other on a regular basis, text each other, that kind of stuff,” Joe explained in an unearthed interview.

“When I was on Gardeners’ World, working with Alan, I learnt so much from him from a presenter’s point of view.”

He continued: “He took me under his wing and was very generous as a presenter.

“He’ll throw stuff over to me a lot, even if he knew all the answers because horticulturally he’s incredibly knowledgeable.”

Speaking about their presenting styles, Joe mused: “It’s interesting because I think that Monty has done an excellent job coming in and presenting and he puts a slightly different angle on it.

“Now we tend to probe a little bit and be a bit more critical of gardens where we used to be veering more towards the light entertainment side I guess.”

He added to Two Thirsty Gardeners: “I’ve really enjoyed both sides of it and was really interested having a couple of separate debates with Monty and digging a little bit deeper and people have responded to that.”

Alan stepped down from the main presenting role on Gardeners’ World almost two decades ago.


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Monty has since taken the reins as a regular face on the popular gardening programme.

Elsewhere, Joe’s mum detailed his early experience in the garden but added he wasn’t particularly “useful”.

Talking to the Guardian in 2011, Margaret spoke of how Joe’s love for gardening has rubbed off on her.

She said: “Joe was always an outdoor boy, but I wouldn’t say he was very useful in the garden.

“I’ve learned a lot from him. He would say, ‘You don’t want geraniums, they’re granny style’ [I still have geraniums].”

“He did teach me that I should think in more architectural terms: big upstanding plants and tree-shaped things,” Margaret explained.

“Joe is very keen on euphorbias and I’ve got them at our house on the coast.”

Gardeners’ World airs tonight on BBC One at 8pm.

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