Gardeners’ World presenter Rachel de Thame has thanked fans for their support after revealing she has been battling breast cancer.
The gardener and broadcaster, 56, revealed this week that she was diagnosed with the disease earlier this year.
Viewers had noticed she had been absent from their screens in recent months and, during the BBC’s live coverage of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, she shared the news.
I'm doing well, I'm coming towards the end of treatmentRachel De Thame
De Thame told presenter Joe Swift she has been going through a “tough time”.
“I haven’t been hiding, but I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the beginning of the year, so I’ve been undergoing treatment for that,” she said.
“I’m doing well, I’m coming towards the end of it.
“It was caught early so that’s all very positive, but yes, on the whole, I thought it was better to not be working too much just now.”
She added: “I think your initial instinct is to hide away and pretend that nothing is going on, but actually, the longer it’s gone on, the more I’ve felt that what you really want is for something positive to come out of it.”
The former model and actress said she has been spending as much time as possible in her garden, and referred to “the big message at Chelsea this year about the importance of gardening and of being in a garden for your general health and mental health”.
Following the news, de Thame tweeted: “I’m overwhelmed by the lovely messages following tonight’s @GWandShows #RHSChelsea coverage Thank you so much, it means a great deal to me.”
One fan responded that they hope she has a “continued speedy recovery” and that they “can’t wait to see you back on our screens soon”.
Another wrote: “Lovely to see your optimism. Smell the roses, love the breeze, let rain dance on your skin. Take care.”
De Thame has long been associated with the BBC’s horticultural-related broadcasts and, as well as hosting Gardeners’ World, she has presented programmes including the coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show, The Hampton Court Flower Show and Malvern Flower Show.