Readers vote on presenter role

A consumer gardening magazine is lobbying the BBC to appoint a trained horticulturist as lead presenter of Gardeners' World.

Former Pershore College lecturer Chris Beardshaw, a professional garden designer, TV presenter and Chelsea flower show gold medallist, topped a national poll by Amateur Gardening magazine to see who readers want to head up the flagship BBC Two show. Monty Don quit Gardeners' World in May after suffering a minor stroke.

The magazine's news editor Marc Rosenberg said: "The BBC's choice of lead presenter will be critical in determining the fortunes of the garden retail and nursery industry. The trade needs a celebrity with a 'Titchmarsh effect' - who can boost TV audiences and inspire consumers to come flocking through garden centre doors. Chris Beardshaw is our readers' choice for this role."

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