Dumped for a younger model? Alan Titchmarsh 'not bitter' over being replaced as face of the Chelsea Flower Show

“If you’re going to make noises about not being employed, you have to be absolutely sure it is down to ageism rather than not being very good," he said.

Media Editor

Having previously berated female television presenters for “whinging” over ageism, Alan Titchmarsh has had to admit that he may have been dropped from coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show because the BBC thought he was “not terribly good anymore”.

In an interview with Radio Times, timed to coincide with his 50th year as a plantsman, Titchmarsh, 65, claimed he was “not bitter” over being replaced by Monty Don, after 30 years as lead presenter.

The BBC announced in November that 58-year-old Don - who replaced Titchmarsh as host of the BBC’s Gardeners’ World in 2003 - would lead coverage of the horticultural extravaganza with Sophie Raworth. The decision came a few months after Titchmarsh had derided the “whinging” complaints of ageism from former BBC Countryfile host Miriam O’Reilly and other female presenters. “They don’t complain in their early days when they are disporting themselves on sports cars,” he said.

In the Radio Times interview, he said he was not going to attribute the BBC’s decision to his age. “If you’re going to make noises about not being employed, you have to be absolutely sure it is down to ageism rather than the fact that you’re not very good. I don’t think I’d be confident enough to say 'they’ve stopped me doing this because I’m too old', because my inner voice would be saying, ‘no, they’ve stopped you doing it, love, because you’re not terribly good anymore.’ ”

Titchmarsh was offered a supporting role to Don at Chelsea but declined. “Yes, I suppose I was hurt, because I know people enjoy you doing it as much as I loved doing it,” he said. “But they probably felt it was time for a change and may well be right. Was I dumped for Monty Don? You might say that. I couldn’t possibly comment. I don’t feel dumped. They made me an offer I had to refuse. It’s up to them. I’m not bitter. I was disappointed but I’m not a grudge-bearer. You have to move on. Nobody owes you a living. I’m still gainfully employed. My days aren’t empty.” He continues to work for ITV and is an ambassador for Waitrose.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week