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Titchmarsh heads back to his roots

Former Gardener's World host Alan Titchmarsh is to return to his role as a greenfingered guru on TV once more after signing a new deal with ITV.

The star spent six years hosting the BBC2 show from his home in Hampshire and has subsequently presented shows for the channel such as Alan's Garden Secrets.

Titchmarsh already hosts a chat show for ITV1, but his new two-year deal - thought to be worth around £1 million a year - will include a new "peak-time gardening and lifestyle series".

It will be the first time he has fronted a gardening show for ITV.

It is unclear how this will affect the BBC's coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show, which Titchmarsh has anchored for many years.

Alongside his ITV shows, 61-year-old Titchmarsh's new deal will also cover merchandising spin-offs for the next five years.

He will host four new series of The Alan Titchmarsh Show over the next two years and further "peak-time projects", following ITV programmes such as All The Queen's Horses and Alan's Walks Of Fame.

His return to hands-on gardening comes as ex-Gardener's World host Monty Don returns to the BBC2 show, replacing Toby Buckland.

Titchmarsh - also a successful novelist and columnist for BBC Gardener's World magazine - said: "This is a great opportunity for anyone involved in broadcasting, and one that I relish taking on.

"My greatest commitment has always been to the people at home who want reliable information put over in an easily accessible manner."

Alison Sharman, ITV director of factual and daytime, said: "Whether as a broadcaster, writer, or horticulturalist, Alan Titchmarsh is a hugely popular and talented figure in so many fields.

"His daytime show and documentary work has had huge appeal with the ITV audience and I'm delighted that we have agreed such an exciting new deal, which further develops our relationship with Alan over the coming years."