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In suit trousers and brown brogues, it could only be Nolan's attempt at gardening

By Jonny Bell

Suited and booted, usually it's the politicians that have a tough time under Stephen Nolan's glare, but this time it was his fledgling plants that were put under a hose.

The BBC broadcaster took advantage of the May Day sun to do a touch of gardening at his Fantasy Island home - in his best trousers, shirt and brown brogues he decided to water his flower beds.

"I've really taken to gardening," he told his legion of listeners on his Tuesday morning Radio Ulster show, "It is really helping me to calm down and relax."

Many, however, were quick to point out his lack of proper attire. "Would I get away with a wee pair of shorts? Taps aff?" he joked.

"I really pushed the boat out yesterday for first time ever I decided to water my plants and the hose can get heavy when you are standing there holding it.

"Then people had a pop at me saying apparently you're not supposed to water the plants during the day. It didn't say that on the hose. How am I supposed to know these things?"

Gardening expert Gareth Austin asked how he could plant three trees and not get a pick of dirt on his clothes.

"I do have a man [for the gardening]," Nolan did admit.

Mr Austin added: "If you spray the water on the plants, on their leaves, you are wasting two-thirds of the water. You need to have it trickle into the ground to get to the roots. Put the hose on trickle, put it on the ground of the flower bed and go off and have a cup of coffee and read the paper.

"No-one is impressed with you waving your hose around."

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