Monty Don is to return as lead presenter of Gardeners’ World – but Toby Buckland and Alys Fowler have been dropped from BBC2’s flagship gardening series.

TV gardener Monty Don

In a shock move, the programme will up sticks from Greenacre, the Gardeners’ World Garden in Birmingham, and move to Monty’s home garden in Herefordshire.

Monty, who has spent 20 years developing the gardens his home, will be joined by regulars Carol Klein and Joe Swift – while Rachel de Thame will return to the series.

It means that 2011 will be a bumper year for Monty, who will present a landmark BBC series, Monty Don’s Italian Gardens, in the spring.

The BBC hopes that returning Gardeners’ World to the home of the lead presenter, a format that won big audiences with Percy Thrower, Geoff Hamilton and Alan Titchmarsh, will boost viewing figures for the 43 year-old series.

Monty said: “Returning to Gardeners’ World is a fantastic opportunity. I’ve really missed the programme, so I can’t wait to get stuck in and get my hands dirty again.”

BBC commissioning editor for factual features and formats, Alison Kirkham, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Monty back and I really look forward to seeing him sharing his expertise in his own environment. I’m thrilled viewers will learn the secrets of the garden he’s spent the last two decades creating from scratch.”

AG columnist Toby said on Twitter: “It was such an honour to present Gardeners’ World and I’m sad to be leaving. I wish Monty and the team the best of luck.”

Monty Don took over from Alan Titchmarsh in 2003 but resigned in May 2008 after suffering a minor stroke.

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  • v bucahanan : invergordon:69

    i am very dissappointed at beechgrove’s stoppage i think it is very unfair especialy for older people who look forword to seeing the team on thursdays

  • Patricia Hazard

    I have tried to give Monty Don the benefit of the doubt but have now stopped watching GW a programme that I eagerly used to look forward to. How many of us have a garden big enough for that huge pool he has created ? a huge percentage of the programme is taken up with fruit and veg.Maybe he could have a programme just for that. He often repeats tips that he has said in previous GW programmes and I learn very little. I record all the programmes to be used as a reference I still have Toby’s which were very informative but I’m afraid Monty that all yours have been deleted. Incidentally I am not a new gardener but a lady of 61, I can always learn more.BRING BACK TOBY PLEASE

  • Patricia Hazard

    I was really sorry to see Toby Buckland leave he had such a good way of expaining things and his gardening related to the vast majority of us who have small gardens. I always record GW so that I can use the programmes as a reference, and I often visit Toby’s programmes. I have done the same with Monty Don but I’m afraid I delete them each time. He seems totally out of touch who on earth has a garden big enough for the huge pond he has created and most of the tips are repeats of his previous GW.Please give him his own Veg and Fruit programme as a huge percentage of the programme is taken up with this. BRING BACK TOBY I’m afraid I’ve given up watching now as I learn nothing new. Incidentally I am 61 and a seasoned gardener but can always learn.

  • Mandy Gale

    I was over the moon when I heard that Monty was returning to G W.I enjoy the program so much.Love Carol’s gardening tips as well,and her beautiful garden,which I would love to visit.
    All the best.
    Mandy

  • ALLAN GOSPORT

    MONTY I LOOKFORWARD TO YOUR PROGS AND WILL LOOKFORWARD TO SEEING THE END RESULT OF YOUR POND LATTER IN THE YEAR AND HOW YOU CAN WORK IN THE RAIN, I JUST DONT KNOW.
    ALLSO IF YOU CAN HELP US WEE ARE LOOKING FOR SOME ADVICE IF POSS.
    I HAVE BUILT AN ARCH OUT SIDE THE BACK DOOR AND WOULD LIKE TO PUT SOMETHING TO CLIME UP IT THAT STAYS GREEN ALL YEAR AND AND MAY BE HAS FLOWERS THESE WILL HAVE TO BE PUT IN POTS.
    OUR VERY BEST WISHES TO YOU,
    IRIS & ALLAN.

  • Alison

    Re: Maureen Reeds comment, What a horrible thing to say,bringing up Monty’s Depression. I started watching Gardeners World with Toby and Alys last year on the Blighty Channel,which started my interest in gardening.But it was the same sort of thing every week and it did’nt feel natural. Now I am watching the new layout and it’s like your at home.I LOVE Monty and Carol, they both have passion and I find them so down to earth.I am only 42, maybe I’m getting old before my time!Love Monty xx

  • lin

    watched Gardeners World – fifteen minutes on locaction in daffodil land then another five with Monty on daffodils, Jo Swift scribbling away and the last five minutes with Monty and his pond the size of a small garden! Not watching any more of this rubbish!

  • Annette

    As a keen and enthusiastic but very amatuer gardener, Monty Don is a pure joy to watch and learn from. I’m so glad he’s back on GW. His enthusiasm and down to earth approach provides me with all the encouragement I need. Thanks Monty and the BBC.

  • Ann

    Watched Gardeners World again tonight and feel like I’m probably not going to bother again. Have given it a chance but the format with Monty Don is really boring and there is nothing of practical help. Please bring back Toby and Alys!!

  • Phil

    Just watched Beechgrove Garden from BBC Scotland on iplayer. How Gardeners’ World should be. A lot more informative for a hobby gardener just starting out. Haven’t watched Gardeners’ World since the format change and probably won’t want to go back as Beechgrove gives me my weekly gardening advice fix I need.

  • Phil

    Being new to gardening I enjoyed Gardeners’ World until this new format change. It just doesn’t offer me anything or encourages me to get out and try new things in the Garden. But its not all bad as I now get my weekly gardening programme fix with Beechgrove Garden from BBC Scotland on iplayer. Gardeners’ World that was. A great programme and well recommended.

  • Clare

    Terrible decision. Toby Buckland was a brilliant presenter who made gardening seem easy and enjoyable. Alys brought a whole new generation to gardening. Bringing back Monty and Rachel has set the programme back 10 years. It now feels like an old fashioned educational film rather than the fun, varied show it was. I will no longer be wathing GW. I agree with Ant, please give Toby and Alys a show of their own!

  • Antoinette

    Massive mistake

  • Ant

    Massive massive mistake Alys and Toby were great. I find Carol Klein OTT and Monty dull. I was interested in Greenacers What happened to the leaf mold experiment? Alys was so normal and fun. I am in my mid 50′s and far to young to watch the new format. I feel you have let me and a new generation of gardens down. Please go back to Greenacers and especially Alys. I used to enjoy Gardens World even though I skipped Carol Klein. I won’t be watching the current format and I can’t imagine many people with energy enough to garden watching it. Massive massive mistake Alys and Toby were stimulating a new generation of gardens now the program is incredibly boring. So disappointing. Please give Alys and Toby a new program.

  • Doreen Beaney

    Watched Gardener’s World on Friday – learnt nothing of interest and not sure if I will be watching again – Toby was excellent for gardeners who want to learn how to garden. The BBC have made a huge mistake.

  • Monique

    I watched the 1st in the new series of GW on TV last night,hoping to be persuaded that Monty Don would be OK..but I am still overwhelmingly angry at the way the BBC have unceremoniously dumped their old format and presenters and assume that the viewing public wouldn’t notice! I feel aggrieved that we weren’t better informed. Was it licence payers money that paid for the now abandoned Greenacre? They should at least have included Toby and Alys in the new line up. Its left a bitter taste and spoilt GW for me.

  • Will

    I’m so pleased Monty’s back and the new team are all the best! No comparison to Toby and Alys – sorry. Monty is a great man with do much passion and his established garden will be such a pleasure to watch grow and develop this year (and hopefully for many years to come). Like Monty, it clearly has a lot of soul. I can’t understand why anyone thinks his manner is in any way patronising or ‘smug’. I think that’s nonsense… He’s an incredibly honest and genuine man. Toby and Alys just never seemed at ease and their presentation often seemed so contrived and rehearsed it was cringeworthy. Monty is just a real gentleman and a true man of the earth. Excellent stuff!!

  • Will

    I’m so pleased Monty’s back and the new team are all the best! No comparison to Toby and Alys – sorry. Monty is a great man with do much passion and his estsblished garden will be such a pleasure to watch grow and develop this year (and hopefully for many years to come). Like Monty, it clearly has a lot of soul. Toby and Alys just never seemed at ease and their presentation often seemed so contrived and rehearsed it was cringeworthy. Monty is just a real gentleman and a true man of the earth. Excellent stuff!!

  • Steve Brown

    Watched the first Gardeners World 2011 last night.Disapointed Monty is back he is an OK presenter but not a “proper” gardener and the new venue looks scruffy.Carol Klein is fine but in very small doses as is Joe Swift otherwiswe both become very irritating,Rachel de Thame brings absolutely nothing to the show.I feel very sorry for Toby Buckland he is a proper down to earth gardener,it was not his fault the programme was dumbed down by the producers. They have lost a good one and bringing Monty back smacks of panic to me.I can only see a further deterioration in viewing figures.Maybe the bright young things at the Beeb who cock up programmes like GW need to be replaced by people who understand what gardening is about and who will produce a show that ordinary gardeners want.

  • c chapman

    As someone relatively new to gardening I felt Toby Buckland had a friendly practical easy to follow style. I think he has been treated badly by the BBC as it was the format of the programme that led to a loss of viewers not Toby’s presentation. I have just watched the first programme with Monty Don. I thought I’d give it a chance but as before, he has a patronising manner and I just can’t warm to him.

  • Jo Golesworthy

    the format of gardeners world is such that it has to appeal to a broad audience and although there are those that fully appreciate the practical side of gardening in simple basic tomes there are also those that appreciate the full throttle of the gardening world including the design, plant info, and furutre of the area. I thought Toby was a really great presenter with a calm and stress free apprroach to a spot of weekend weeding and planting and feel terrible for him if he has been used to fill a gap but on reflection he bought a lot to the show. the return of monty is something of a shock as a slow reintroduction would seem more natural but that’s the beeb for ya. I’m happy to see the back of Alys not because I dont like her, quite on the contrary, but I think she’s happier off screen. I wonder why Carol was never considered to head up the show- what an inspirational woman with such a wealth of knowledge…… i definately feel it’s a good time to sit back and see where monty don takes the show. we’re all in agreement that we have a thirst for knowledge on the subject we’re just spatting over the delivery- give it a go and report back on how you feel it went. it’ll be interesting to see people’s opinions

  • edith waters

    glad to see monty don back, it would be good to have more gadening on tv and less cooking progs, good luck monty

  • kay berry

    I m sorry I dont think Monty is the right person for the job I never really took to him. The programme has never been the same since Geoff Hamilton sadly passed away. He was so creative, practica,down to earth and environmentally concernsd at a time when it was barely fashionable.
    I dont care much for Alan Titchmarshes style . He is too condescending and on a different planet and involved in far too many diverseareas But BBC will still lose out to him on his new ITV programme. As for his new salary it is so obscene for any presenter to earn
    such a ridiculous amount.
    Find us a real dedicated down to earth gardener who does it for the real joy of it, and is less concerened with prestige and money.

  • Gillian Evans

    I will be sorry not to see Alys Fowler – I like her fresh ideas and do hope that she will do more of the Edible Garden type programme. I found that interesting and easy to relate to.

  • Melanie Brown

    I think that we all get so passionate about Gardeners’ World because it feels like an institution that we each of us own a little bit. Remember when they changed the title music…uproar! I felt that Carol K should have taken over – with Toby as one of the team doing practical stuff..monty isn’t particularly good with a bit of 2X2 is he? I wasn’t too keen on Alys as a presenter either..a bit too boho for me – sorry. The programme “life in a cottage garden” has been subtly and beautifully crafted..a pleasure to watch.I don’t think that GW should be like that programme but I do believe that one of the reasons I love watching Carol and Alan T and Geoff Hamilton was that they presented in such a friendly, non-condescending familiar way – like old friends giving you a few tips. I can’t help but feel sorry for Toby Buckland. The Beeb makes some good stuff but I bet that it is a hell of a cut-throat place to work!

  • mike

    Gardeners world has, in the past always presented a well balanced,practical and down to earth approach to gardening,especially with Geoff Hamilton and Alan Titchmarsh.Although there were teething troubles getting the format right when Toby Buckland took over, it was getting there, and credit where credit is due, Geoff and Alan were hard acts to follow,so it was not going to be easy for Toby.Now with the programme being moved to Montys own garden, I feel that we are only going to get the one aspect of gardening, and thats ORGANIC, because thats the way he gardens, passionately. I, myself do not mind being educated on the organic side of gardening, and being shown any advantages it may have,and too try them out,but I have a strong feeling that we are about to be preached at by a “holier than thou” presenter. We need an un~bias fact giving approach, giving us the option to choose which way we garden, and I honestly do not think we are going to get that with Monty. As for his comment on not visiting a garden centre for 10 years, well not every one is lucky enough to have gardens large enough to grow everything from scratch,and the time to do so,comments like that suggest that only lesser gardeners go to the garden centres. Heres hoping the BBC have got it right,as they had in Geoff and Alans day,because if I wanted to be preached at I would go to church.

  • antuk

    thank you bbc for removing this thorn from gardeners world ,toby is prob a good gardener but is not for the youth of today dont forget there the gardeners of tomorrow and if it just aint right they wont want to learn,geoff hamilton got me caught by the way he did stuff i bought this closh from so n so i paid so n so then he went and showed you a cheap version he made from a old box,but toby goes to a garden centre and just oh well it is the bbc,s money i dont care ,we dont have the money to do half of the stuff that there showing on the gw the gardens they show hang on we all havent got 10 acres to play with gw has totaly lost the plot no wonder people are not watching anymore.they need to stop and think and get out there talk to people on allotments people with small gardens take note ask no longer assume we all no how to take a cutting ,drop the garden designer and get the gardener back in,
    sorry toby .welcome back monty hope you have beat the depression and are much better, good luck .

  • maureen reed

    this is terrible as monty suffers depression how long before he has to leave again

  • carol

    I agree with so many of the other comments I thought the programmes were very practical not airy fairy I have watched gardeners world for more years than I care to remember I think that Toby was nearest to Geoff Hamilton that we will ever get .very sad he has gone

  • Elaine Mullen

    Its a shame the beeb don’t realise how many people enjoy gardening. What chance did Toby have when Gardeners world was off more often then it was one. I find Monty Don patronising, and can’t wait for the new Sky channel and Beechgrove to start. Practical and down to earth, Toby I hope another chanell pick up on just how good you are and gives you a programme, I think the beeb would be suprised how many viewers it would have.

  • Matt

    I think this is a great loss; Toby and Alys were very interesting and down to earth and the show was a joy to watch. I think these two presenters particularly appealed to the under 30 year old like myself. Maybe the viewer numbers dropped because Toby and Alys were so inspirational, everyone went outside to crack on with their gardening rather than watching the show! I know I certainly did; when you work full time, the evenings and weekends are often the only chance to get out and do the garden.

  • diane

    The producers should be the ones to leave, I assume they decide the contents of the show. Toby was just presenting what he was told to present. I think he did the best he could with the format, he is an experienced gardener with a lot of knowledge.

  • Jud

    I thought Toby was a good presenter and he has been treated shabbily by producers.No one will surpass Geoff Hamilton,Alan Titchmarsh was good too.Mixed feelings about Monty Don will wait and see but i was not bowled over before.I definately did not bond with Alys just felt irritated sorry.

  • Ren

    I feel really sad that the nation’s gardener’s are still argueing about the presenter of Gardener’s World. I think Toby had a really difficult task fronting the programme from an oversized plot that we couldn’t relate to with a format that was alien to us. However the programme was developing and I thought the last series was his best. It took me a long time to accept Alan Titchmarch when he presented the programme but I was very sad to see him bow out. I was thrilled to hear that Monty is returning to the programme as I feel that he has a lot of knowledge to share, but I was surprised to read that he is coming in as the main presenter. I have always regarded gardening as a uplifting experience and we have a real opportunity (the only opportunity) to learn from highly qualified gardeners as well as the self taught. I see Gardener’s World as the means by which we share the experience with the rest of the country. So lets stop this argueing about the personalities and realise how lucky we are that we can switch on the TV on Friday evening and join the rest of the country enjoying the gardening experience.

  • Josephine Ward

    Toby was a great presenter. Every week I learned something new and I have been watching Gardeners World for many years. Toby was a victim of the overlong gimmicry imposed from on high but, once these were dropped and the time shortened, the programme was great. I hope he will be given another programme as he is far too good to be lost to the nation’s gardeners.

  • Katie Jones

    I think getting rid of Toby Buckland and Alys was a mistake, i completely agree with the other posts that Toby explained things so well. It was Toby that got me into gardening as he had so much passion for it. Why can’t there be 2 different types of gardening programmes on?A Monty Don style and a Toby Buckland style. Then everyone wins. I am totally gutted he is leaving along with Alys. I think Monty Don is so condescending.

  • James

    I am afraid a real error has been made getting rid of Toby Buckland. The best thing about Toby Buckland was that he explained how to do something from start to finish. I saw Toby Buckland at Birmingham Live and he was so passionate, enthusiastic and animated live.

    For me as an amateur Gardner Monty Don was too arty and seemed unable to explain tasks in simple terms. In fact the last phrase I remember Monty Don saying is next time we are going to plant an Orchard!

    The problem for the program has been the random Scheduling and a new dull garden. The program seemed to be off the air when I wanted seasonal guidance and about planting and maintaining the garden. I think the wrong head rolled.

  • Liza

    So, we have to suffer the smug Monty Don again! I hope he is less patronising to his co-presenters this time. There seemed to be a happier atmosphere with Toby, but the format was a bit ‘Blue Peter’.

  • Pam Cranham

    I’m very cross to hear the news that Toby Buckland has been dropped from Gardener’s World. I have so enjoyed his down–to–earth approach, as I did Alan Titchmarsh’s, but I’m afraid Monty Don doesn’t come down to my simple level of wanting to learn basic stuff. I didn’t enjoy G W when Monty presented it before and stopped watching it, so I won’t be tuning in to the new series either. I guess there’s only The Beechgrove Garden on BBC Scotland left that’s worth watching, gardening wise (as long as the BBC don’t mess that up too!).
    So, Amateur Gardening, I’m relying on you more than ever!

  • Susan

    I won’t be watching any more if this is the case! Toby made the show, he was really gentle and down to earth and reminded me of Geoff Hamilton. Carol Klein was pretty good too but the others annoyed the socks off me. Very sad to hear this!

  • ken fanner

    Totally worng…Toby has been used as whipping boy for the producers getting the format wrong. Toby worked his socks off and had just got settled into his stride when the BBc changed again its mind. This may be the end of GW, as people will look else where for a better programme (hopefully ITV will give Toby the platform for a show to battle with GW).
    What annoys me is that Monty has moaned about the BBC when he left saying he would not return and last year saying he did not want anything todo with mainstream gardening. So, in response the BBC give him the big job.

    I like Monty, but may stop watching GW like many others.