Page last updated at 16:37 GMT, Thursday, 22 May 2008 17:37 UK

TV gardener Monty Don has stroke

Monty Don
Don said he planned to take some 'gardening leave'

Gardeners' World host Monty Don has suffered a stroke and will stand down from his TV presenting duties, the BBC has said.

The 52-year-old presenter, who has hosted the BBC Two show since 2003. has been off work for several weeks after suffering a "minor stroke".

In a statement the BBC said he was making "a good recovery".

Don, from Ivington, Herefordshire, said he was taking time off over the summer to make a full recovery.

'Sorely missed'

In a statement the BBC said: "Monty Don has decided to stand down as the main presenter of Gardeners' World.

"Monty has presented the series for the past five years but has been off our screens for the past six weeks as a result of a minor stroke.

"Although he is making a good recovery he feels unable to commit to regular filming for a while."

It added that Don would be "sorely missed by viewers and the production team".

Passion

Don followed in the footsteps of Alan Titchmarsh when he took over as the main presenter of the long-running programme in 2003.

It followed stints as the resident horticulturist on This Morning. His other programmes include the Channel 4 series Don Roaming and Real Gardens.

He was recently seen on TV in Around The World In 80 Gardens, shown on the BBC.

Don said: "I am proud to have led Gardeners' World for the past five years and have enjoyed every minute of sharing my passion with the programme's viewers.

"I intend to take some gardening leave for the rest of the summer to make a full recovery and so that I am ready to tackle new projects."




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