Monty Don health: Gardeners’ World star’s terrifying stroke confession revealed

For most people, Monty Don has become a figure of good health and peak physique. One journalist described the TV gardener as having a “timeless physical presence”. This is something much to blame, or credit, on Monty’s toiling in the garden.

His career hasn’t always been as plain-sailing as today.

The German-born BBC star got himself in a spot of bother in the early Nineties after nearing bankruptcy.

He managed, however, to land himself a spot on TV sharing his tips and tricks in the garden.

And, a decade later, in 2003, after establishing himself in the horticultural world, Monty began presenting the BBC’s flagship gardening programme, Gardeners’ World.

He has presented it ever since, having been permanently based in his sprawling Herefordshire home since 2011.

Yet, in 2008, Monty woke one morning not feeling too great and within a few hours realised he was having a stroke.

A year later, speaking to Guardian journalists Kate Kellaway and Hermione Hoby in 2009, Monty revealed that he knew something was wrong from the moment he woke up.

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Having recently finished the series Around the World in 80 Gardens, he said: “I was so exhausted I did not know whether I was coming or going.

“I remember waking up feeling strange and dizzy and saying to Sarah, ‘God, something funny is happening; I may be having a stroke’.”

Despite this, Monty stuck his ill feelings out, not once going to hospital.

He explained: “We weren’t thinking: this is a disaster. I said: ‘Hang on, I can move my fingers.’ I remember thinking: Oh, get a grip, you’re fine.”


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Continued spells of dizziness and off balance forced Monty’s family to urge him to visit the hospital.

Seeing a neurologist, a brain scan confirmed a minor stroke.

He said: “Fortunately the damage was slight and the brain can repair itself to a degree.”

Coming within death’s grasp led to a period of reflection.

One meditation was Monty’s realisation that he wanted to one day become a grandfather but acknowledged he was running out of time.

He told Radio Times in 2016 that “my children tell me I’m much too indulgent with Nellie (his dog), so perhaps when the time comes I shall treat grandchildren the same way, like very favoured dogs”.

He added: “There is no immediate prospect of grandfatherhood that I’m aware of, but I’d really like to have small children around again.

“I’d know what to do. I’d be less cross about things that there’s no need to be cross about. And I can always hand them back.

“Most problems in parenthood are to do with exhaustion, trying to do six things at once.”

Monty has since been gifted a single grandchild, a boy, George Jack Don.

The little Don was born last year on May 28.

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