I write about romance, not sordid sex. I don’t go in for the naming of parts
As his 70th book is published, Alan Titchmarsh talks to about ‘dangerous’ social media and how making a difference starts on your own doorstep introspective. It’s inward-looking, always leaves the nitty-gritty of sex Home And Garden episodes due in it’s all about ‘me’, it’s all about other to the reader’s imagination, and winter, and next year he’ll be people’s perception of you. The wouldn’t contemplate gratuitously presenting another series of ITV’s self-awareness that it fosters is too violent scenes. Love Your Garden and more dangerous and introspective. It “I write about romance, not Secrets Of The National Trust on leads to terrible things like depression sordid sex. I don’t go in for the Channel 5. Another novel will and people who feel like naming of parts. I find cruelty hard follow in 2020. they’re not fitting in.” to portray. I’ve written about He’s had the summer off,
The ex-Gardeners’ World bereavement and loss of spouses, spending time at his home in presenter goes on to explain how but couldn’t and wouldn’t do loss Hampshire and his bolthole on the his fictional characters’ traditional or harm to children. I write for Isle of Wight – but with a wealth of attitudes of courtesy, sensibility and pleasure. I don’t want to spend projects on the go, retirement judgment reflect his own. my days writing about sordid doesn’t seem to be on the cards.
“A lot of those attitudes are mine,” relationships.” Part of the latest novel features he admits, before relaying a story of He also worries about the effect diary entries from the fictional his dismay on a recent visit to King’s on society of what he sees as an female protagonist. How did Alan College Chapel in Cambridge, ever-increasing deluge of online approach writing from a woman’s when he saw a group of American sensational news. point of view? students wearing baseball caps “Every night, that is fed to you – “Well, I’ve been married for 43 inside the cathedral. all doom and gloom and misery – years (to Alison, a doctor) and I’ve
“That really upset me. Then, I was and you forget to live, if you’re not two daughters who are grown up so at an event where the national careful.” I’ve lived with women a lot. anthem was played and there were No wonder he loves the great “I know we’re from different men with hats on during the outdoors so much. planets, which I’m frequently national anthem. “I think, without being funny, told, but I like to think that I’m
“I was telling this to somebody of that gardening has kept me sympathetic to people and in that my age – and they laughed at me for grounded. It’s real. The garden is an respect, there are characteristics worrying about something so escape to reality. that overlap. inconsequential. But I see it as the “Keeping a sense of perspective “I’m oversensitive about thin end of lack of consideration for and proportion today, what with everything. I notice too much, I other people’s feelings. news and social media, is fiendishly think too much but it cuts both
“The attitude is, it doesn’t really difficult because you can so ways. It makes you vulnerable to matter, does it? Well it does to me. easily become criticism.
“It leads to larger things not overwhelmed by “You feel things more mattering.” Checking himself, he tragedy. rawly but it also gives you smiles and adds: “Now, I’m starting “You end up an ability to create an to sound like my grandfather!” feeling that you’re atmosphere,” Alan
Alan’s old-school attitude of useless if you can’t continues. having respect for other people’s make a difference. “All my heroes, and now sensibilities, coupled with good “I concentrate on my heroine, have a hell of a manners, might not endear him to the bit outside your lot of me in them.” all generations, but there’s a back door, where sincerity there that is evident in his you can make a writing. difference.”
His novels are nostalgic, gentle, There are three chivalrous. He doesn’t swear, more Love Your