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Alan Titchmarsh, Green-Fingered Sex God

How to worm a cat, an intimate chat with the Queen and almost being blinded by Charlie Dimmock’s flying assets – all in a day’s work for Alan Titchmarsh.

The unlikely sex god wooed his crowd at Warwick Arts Centre with tales of life behind the scenes at Ground Force, his rise to fame as a television gardener and a few reasonably ancient, but well told jokes.

For some strange, and disappointing reason, he felt the occasional need to lapse into poetry, and at one inflicted a “sex” scene on his audience from his latest book, which he was never afraid to plug.

But in the main he was very jolly, riding a crest of a wave, and clearly enjoying being in front of a live audience.

The funniest point of the evening came when he was totally derailed by a heckler, who said he was the brother of one the Ground Force team’s stranger clients.

Somewhat abashed, Alan continued his tale, and nervously looked at to the audience member and said “Have you found that about him?”

“He’s not really my brother,” came the reply.

Luckily, our Alan from Ilkley was man enough to continue, despite being made to look like a prize pudding on stage.

He tells a good story, and works his audience well, and does so many different things you wonder how he has time to garden his hilly Hampshire sprawl.

He tries to please, so much so that he came on stage with his first joke nicely localised. It’s a shame nobody thought to tell him that he was performing in Coventry, and not Warwick.

A few audience questions followed at the end, most about how he dealt with being a sex god, some about gardening and writing, before he wrapped up with a poignant reflection on Nelson Made –whose garden he created in a special Ground Force.

Some of the audience got up to go before he had left the stage, which seemed rude until you got outside to be confronted with a huge and eager queue at the desk where he was going to sign books. He could still be there now for all I know.
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CWN / Arts & Entertainment / Warwick Arts Centre / 13 Nov 00

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