Mandela gets the Dimmock make-over
Wednesday 15 December 1999
"I never quite believed it was going to happen and, even when we had finished, the whole team was quite in awe,'' said the 32-year-old Ground Force presenter as she left South Africa yesterday, still picking the earth of Qunu, Mr Mandela's native village, from beneath her fingernails.
The former South African president - known as much for loving women as gardens - apparently thought Ms Dimmock, known as much for her cleavage as her gardens, "looked like one of the Spice Girls". Mr Mandela, who spent 27 years in jail, mostly in a barren limestone quarry on Robben Island, is said to have fallen in love with gardening in 1988 when he stayed in a warder's lodge at Victor Verster prison near Cape Town during negotiations with the apartheid government.
The garden - created for a 2 January special programme on BBC1 - features the Strelitzia `Mandela's Gold' but not the Protea, which is the national flower of South Africa.
The surprise element of the show was made possible by Mr Mandela's wife, Graca Machel, who invited the crew to do their makeover during a three- day absence by Mr Mandela. Ms Dimmock said: "He was really surprised, which was smashing. He was lovely and sweet, just like a grandfather.''
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Holborn fire: Chaos as 2,000 people evacuated to escape toxic smoke filling central London
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
April Fools' Day 2015 live: The best pranks and fake stories from around the world
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Katie Hopkins reported to the police for race hatred by Labour MP Simon Danczuk after tweet about Pakistani men
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...