Alan Titchmarsh thrills Portsmouth audience with description of Queen’s homes

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THERE was no chance of this audience wilting as they remained captivated by TV celebrity Alan Titchmarsh.

The presenter, gardening expert and novelist was at the Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral, in High Street, Old Portsmouth, to publicise his new book The Queen’s Houses.

Alan Titchmarsh at Portsmouth Cathedral

Alan Titchmarsh at Portsmouth Cathedral

Arranged through the Hayling Island Bookshop, in Mengham Road, Hayling, people listened to an hour-long talk from Mr Titchmarsh, before a book signing was opened.

Mr Titchmarsh, the Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire, said: ‘I love Portsmouth and I come here frequently.

‘I had a great welcome here and had a really good evening.

‘I was here to talk about my new book on all of the Queen’s houses, such as Buckingham Palace, Balmoral and Sandringham.’

The books delves into the history behind the homes and information and photography on the royal family.

Around 120 people turned up to hear the talk.

Mike Murphy, 73, a retired civil servant, of West Lane, Hayling Island, said: ‘The talk by Alan was absolutely wonderful. He’s a great talker and I loved hearing about the royal family.

‘My wife couldn’t make it because she was ill, but I got some books signed by him for her.’

For Sheila Privett, the talk on the Queen’s houses was more personal.

The 57-year-old hospital support worker, from Mill End, Emsworth, said: ‘I’m a fan of Mr Titchmarsh’s anyway, but also my mother was born in the Sandringham estate.

‘I love the whole family history behind the royals and the book represents this well.

‘I found Alan very down to earth and he’s quite a natural talker.’

Heather Lynock, 60, and her husband Dave, 60, of Leamington Crescent, in Lee-on-the-Solent, were also fans of the talk.

Mrs Lynock, a test analyst, said: ‘We have bought many of his books and enjoy his shows.

‘We thought it was a great nice, he was a brilliant talker and was very informative.’

After the talk and signing, refreshments of tea, coffee, cakes and wine were put up by the cathedral.

Peter Sanders, chapter clerk, said: ‘It was an excellent night and we were very pleased with the numbers.

‘There are not many venues that can offer what we do, and I hope this is something we can put on again with the Hayling Island Bookshop.’