Dawn plants a big smacker on her favourite gardener

A SMACKER TV star Alan Titchmarsh signs a copy of his new book for Dawn Wallace from Fareham who shares the same birthday, May 2, 1949 at Waterlooville Library.  Picture: Steve Reid (114304-429)
A SMACKER TV star Alan Titchmarsh signs a copy of his new book for Dawn Wallace from Fareham who shares the same birthday, May 2, 1949 at Waterlooville Library. Picture: Steve Reid (114304-429)
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A VISIT from the man with the greenest fingers in showbusiness delighted his many fans – but one more than most.

Dawn Wallace decided she had to meet gardening guru Alan Titchmarsh after discovering they were born on exactly the same day.

Promoting his new book The Complete Countryman, the 62-year-old gardener, writer and broadcaster yesterday signed copies at Waterlooville’s library and regaled a Hayling Island audience with jokes and answers to a variety of questions.

Dawn, of Catisfield Lane, Fareham, said: ‘I’m a huge fan and when I saw we had the same birthday I wanted to come and say hello. I think he’s brilliant.’

And for Alan, getting out and talking to people still throws up a few surprises.

‘I was once asked to name 12 peacock-proof plants,’ he said. ‘So I did my best. The range of subjects people ask me about is amazing.

‘And it is so heartening when someone says to me I got them into gardening.

‘I have had so much joy from the great outdoors that if I can open someone else’s eyes to it that is wonderful.’

In the evening Alan made his way to Hayling Island Community Centre, in Station Road, where he entertained the 400-strong audience with tales from his time at the helm of Ground Force with Charlie Dimmock and anecdotes about being a Yorkshireman down south.

Marie Telford from Hayling Island Bookshop which organised the event, said: ‘He exceeded all our expectations. He is such a funny, down to earth, warm chap.’