Main claim

Bra-free goddess of the garden. Charlie Dimmock, television's own flame- haired horticulturist, has transformed the gentle art of the gardening programme from oldster's delight to Nineties peep-show. Simply by failing to wear a standard item of chest upholstery, our heroine has elevated herself from sturdy pillar of the soil to raunchy sex symbol. She has set the nation's more gullible males drooling as she wields a trowel in her two regular TV shows, Ground Force and Charlie's Garden Army. Now Charlie's very own Year 2000 calendar has shot to best-seller status. Ms Dimmock is claiming said item (Haystacks, Bosoms, More Bosoms) serves an educational purpose. "I don't do pouting and sexy," says the doyenne of the decolletage. Oh, right, now we understand.


Here's the rub. Female viewpoint: horse. She-male. Modestly favoured 32-year-old of muscular build. Weather-beaten girl next door in need of a better moisturising regime. Male viewpoint: Aphrodite meets Melinda Messenger. Hardy-esque wench goes Page Three.

Charlie's angel

Our peat-loving protagonist would have remained earning pounds 15,000 a year at a gardening centre if it hadn't been for the director of Ground Force, who spotted her after she put in a pond on a regional show. Journalist AA Gill enthused about her evidently bra-less state. An unhealthy national fixation with said mammaries then ensued. In a trice, Charlie's salary had leapt to an estimated pounds 500,000 a year.

Seed time

Charlie has lived in Romsey, Hampshire all her life. Her father was in the Merchant Navy, and her mother ran a cleaning business. Our heroine went into gardening straight after school and still runs a water centre. Her boyfriend is a viticulturist called John who wants to live in New Zealand. He is also her aunt's brother. That's all we need to know about him, then. Charlie loves Bloody Marys, has stubby nails, and spends a lot of time telling journalists that her breasts are only size 36B.

Fame prospects

Let's face it, Charlie Dimmock is making hay while the sun shines. Next year it may all turn into a big heap of compost. But then there's always bra modelling. Or, er, gardening.