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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 July, 2003, 15:04 GMT 16:04 UK
Allotment becomes radio star
Terry Walton
Terry Walton offered his patch as the BBC Radio Two allotment
An allotment in the south Wales valleys is becoming one of the most famous plots in the UK after it was 'adopted' by the BBC's Jeremy Vine show.

Terry Walton, 57, who has the allotment in Tonypandy in the Rhondda Valley, has become a regular on the lunch time programme talking about his garden.

Every couple of weeks, Mr Walton is featured walking around the allotment and describing how things are growing.

Green-fingered Mr Walton offered up his gardening patch after hearing an appeal from Jeremy Vine to 'adopt an allotment'.

The retired company director has been gardening at the plot since he was 13-years-old and is happy to share his achievements with the five millions listeners to the show.

Baby pumpkin
Mr Walton's pumpkins are discussed on the show

"It has been great - I've been on the show twice and had a great response," said Mr Walton.

"Everyone up here gathers around the radio and listens when I'm on air and we have a great laugh and joke about it all.

"I have had a lot of people taking the mickey out of me when I go down the pub, but it's all in good humour.

"I definitely recommend gardening to anyone - it is great and although it takes a bit of patience you will soon see the results of your work.

"I'm retired now, but when I was working I often used to come up here after a hard day and after an hour of digging I would be relaxed and calm again.

"I know that Eastenders' Arthur Fowler had quite a famous allotment in the soap, but I think that mine is becoming almost as famous," he laughed.

"Every couple of weeks millions of listeners get a tour around the garden," he added.

Jeremy Vine
Jeremy Vine: 'We needed to do something more stress-busting'

But Mr Walton said that the stars of his allotment, are his pumpkins, which he is growing for the first time this year.

"It has been a bit of a running joke because someone had contacted the show to say that they were feeding their pumpkins with beer and they were flourishing.

"Now whenever I go on the radio, Jeremy asks me how they are doing," he said.

Jeremy Vine explained how the allotment feature has started:

"It all came about after we did a one-hour special on allotments and we got more responses from that than any other subject including Iraq.

"We realised that there were a whole lot of people who were totally engrossed in their allotments.

"And as we do a lot of serious issues on the show, we realised we needed to have something more stress-busting, and we decided to adopt an allotment.

"We had about 150 offers from people and we had to go through them very carefully, but Terry's allotment is absolutely perfect and he is a real character himself," he added.

The Jeremy Vine Show is broadcast between 1200 and 1400 every weekday on BBC Radio Two.

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