Alan Titchmarsh deal sparks dispute

The BBC has come under fire for letting Alan Titchmarsh take both corporation and commercial cash.

The TV gardener has agreed to be the new face of B&Q and is also about to start filming a BBC series — Alan's Garden Secrets.

The BBC and B&Q said Titchmarsh is not endorsing B&Q products but simply offering advice to customers.

But Taxpayers Alliance chief executive Matthew Elliott said: "It's time the BBC decided whether it wants to be a public broadcaster with presenters not able to make money through commercial deals or be a commercial broadcaster with no licence fee."

Titchmarsh said: "I thought long and hard about signing up with B&Q. But they reach more potential gardeners than any other outlet in the country."

A BBC representative said: "We have guidelines to ensure we avoid commercial conflicts of interest. The new Titchmarsh series will be made in accordance with these guidelines, which, as we understand it, his agreement with B&Q does not breach."

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