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Bother at Breakfast for Titchmarsh

Published 23/06/2015

Alan Titchmarsh used a colourful gardening term which refers to the practice of double digging
Alan Titchmarsh used a colourful gardening term which refers to the practice of double digging

Green-fingered presenter Alan Titchmarsh caused an upset on breakfast TV - when he used colourful language while talking about gardening.

The mild-mannered star surprised viewers of BBC Breakfast when he used a gardening term which refers to the practice of double digging.

The 66-year-old former host of Gardeners' World and the Chelsea Flower Show innocently told the show's presenters: "There's another name for it. It sounds dreadful. It's called bastard trenching."

Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin apologised for the slip.

Viewers responded on Twitter, with some annoyed that Titchmarsh's words had been the subject of an apology.

Kyle Redmond wrote: " RIP Alan Titchmarsh, such a shock."

Mick Bruce wrote: " How pathetic of BBC Breakfast to apologise after Alan Titchmarsh used a legitimate gardening term to describe double digging."

Jordan Hemsworth wrote: " The fact BBC news made Alan Titchmarsh apologise for using the term 'bastard trenching' is utterly ridiculous. I mean, come on!"

Richard Taylor wrote: "Why on earth did you apologise for Alan Titchmarsh!!!? Are people so sensitive these days?

Titchmarsh was appearing on BBC Breakfast to promote his latest show, Love Your Garden.

The former Ground Force host said of the work that he does in his garden: "I don't double dig every day. Nobody needs to double dig every day..."

Asked what double digging was by BBC Breakfast presenter Charlie Stayt, he replied: "Double digging is digging to two spades' blades' depth.

"There's also another name for it, which sounds dreadful, it's called 'bastard trenching' and by the end of it you realise it's a very fitting name for it.

"It's a terribly difficult thing to do but you you don't need to do that...

"Be kind to yourself and potter," he said. "Enjoy being out there, especially in this nice weather."

Minchin told viewers at the end of the interview: "We just have to apologise ... for some of the language used in the last couple of minutes."

Titchmarsh protested: "Oh no, no, no, no, it's a term in a gardening book. I shan't repeat it, but it's not offensive at all."

But Minchin insisted: "Thank you very much and apologies if people were offended."

Oliver Arscott wrote on Twitter: "BBC apologising for Alan Titchmarsh using a naughty gardening term is the most British thing that has ever happened."

Carolyn ‏@tweetycakes78 wrote: "B*stard trenching is legit gardening term, that's what they all say Alan Titchmarsh! Rebel Alan swears on national TV. Who's next Mary Berry?"

Rebecca @MsNaughtyCheese wrote: "Alan Titchmarsh just swore on TV. I think that's one of the signs of the apocalypse."

A BBC spokesman defended the show's decision to apologise to viewers for using a gardening term.

"For those viewers who had missed Alan Titchmarsh's earlier explanation regarding the gardening term, we decided to say sorry as courtesy in case there was any offence caused," the spokesman said.

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