Experts' expert in Essex

The name of Dr D G Hessayon may not be entirely familiar, but it's a reasonable bet that you own one of his books. More than one in three people in Britain possess a copy of at least one of his "Expert" series of gardening books. Sales of nearly 40 million copies around the world make the good doctor arguably the world's best-selling non-fiction author. The Houseplant Expert is his most successful work, with current sales totalling over 9 million. He's currently back in the bestseller lists with The New Vegetable & Herb Expert.

I caught up with this 69-year-old publishing phenomenon at his home in Essex. The secret of his books' success is simplicity: "People want answers quickly, they don't want to study the subject. If they have to read a lot, I've blown it."

How does he feel about the election? "Like a lot of businessmen I'm quite laid-back and relaxed about this Labour government. If they screw it up, we'll put the Tories back in."

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