Alan Titch­marsh

TV Times - - My TV Times Week - Mas­ter­piece mon-thurs / ITV / 3.00Pm Sean Mar­land

as his an­tiques game show con­tin­ues, alan Titch­marsh tells us about his amaz­ing li­brary

Alan titch­marsh was over the moon when his idea for an an­tiques game show was taken up by ITV last year, and he’s back on our screens for a sec­ond se­ries of Mas­ter­piece, which con­tin­ues this week.

‘I’m thrilled,’ says Alan, 68, who’s once again giv­ing con­tes­tants a string of an­tique chal­lenges at Bri­tain’s most stun­ning stately homes.

‘The show was my own idea so when they told me they wanted an­other se­ries I was de­lighted.’

Here Alan re­veals his life­long love of an­tiques and his own very spe­cial book col­lec­tion…

Did you col­lect things as a child? I’ve still got the coin col­lec­tion that I had when I was a boy ac­tu­ally. They were coins my grand­par­ents gave me when I was lit­tle and they’re still in the same en­velopes, with my child­hood hand­writ­ing scrawled all over them.

Nowa­days you col­lect first-edi­tion books…

I have a very fat and very old copy of Ger­ard’s Herbal, a book of plants pub­lished in the early 17th

Century. It’s four inches thick and has wood­cuts of wild flow­ers in it. I was thrilled when I man­aged to find a copy.

How many books do you have in your col­lec­tion?

About 5,000 so far I think, so I’m run­ning out of shelves. My wife keeps telling me I must have a clear out but I don’t like throw­ing books away! What would you say is your most prized first edi­tion? Daphne du Mau­rier’s Re­becca.

I read it for the first time when I was work­ing in the parks depart­ment down on the bowl­ing green. It was a ter­ri­bly wet week and no one came to play bowls so I read Re­becca.

It was won­der­fully at­mo­spheric and I re­mem­ber read­ing the book in this lit­tle shed while the rain beat down on the roof.

What’s your favourite

Bri­tish stately home? Chatsworth in Der­byshire takes some beat­ing. It’s so beau­ti­fully looked af­ter and the li­brary is to die for – some amaz­ing books!

Book­worm: Early edi­tions of Re­becca and Ger­ard’s Herbal

alan with an­tiques ex­pert Rachel Hous­ton-hol­land

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