SPECIAL needs teacher Ed Bond has triumphed in the hit BBC show the Big Allotment Challenge.
Ed, a 37-year-old dad-of-two from Westbourne, was named the winner along with friend Alex Lomax on last night’s grand final on BBC2.
Friends and family packed the White Horse Pub, in the village, to watch the show, with only a handful knowing the outcome which was filmed last September.
When Ed and 68-year-old Alex were named the winners in the nail-biting final the pub erupted with whoops and cheers of delight.
Ed, a teacher at Redwood Park School, in Cosham, said: ‘It’s lovely to have those feelings of all those months ago back again – with everyone around me.
‘We’ve got a pub full of friends, the kids are dancing around. I can’t believe the girls managed to keep it quiet for so long.
‘It was a wonderful experience. I’ve had an allotment for about eight years and Alex has just taken on a new garden so we’ve got a bit of experience.
‘But entering the competition taught us so much, it really did.
‘The highlight for me was the first week when we grew sweet peas and, of course, the last week when we won.’
From onions to melons and hanging baskets, each week a green-fingered pair from across the country showcased their skills until it came down to the final six.
Ed and Alex met through family and hit it off straight away, despite the age gap.
Alex, who lives in Salisbury, said: ‘We get on very well but I don’t think we’ll be doing our own show.
‘What I would love to do is show people how to grow veg – in school farms or something like that.
‘Waiting lists for allotments are massive so I’d like to get the message out that you can take up a few paving slabs in your garden, use your window sill or pick up a grow bag. Just do it.’