TV ad promotion sees Gavin leave the Chelsea hot seat

Promoting Westland products in advertisements means Diarmuid Gavin will not present the BBC's coverage of the Chelsea flower show.

Joe Swift will replace Diarmuid Gavin as presenter of the BBC’s Chelsea flower show coverage. Gavin cannot present the programme as he did last year after signing a deal to promote Westland products in advertisements on ITV, Channel 4 and Sky. The BBC charter’s rules mean it is unlikely Gavin will present for the BBC again until his Westland contract is finished. The corporation has officially confirmed that Swift will partner Alan Titchmarsh for the BBC coverage of the event on May 23-27. A BBC representative said: “We have clear guidelines, which meant it was inappropriate for Diarmuid Gavin to continue in the same role that he had last year.” Instead, he said Gavin will adopt an “expert contributor” role and talk about Chelsea, but will not be a presenter: “The viewers will still be able to enjoy his opinion.” The BBC had previously explained that strict guidelines regulate what presenters can do while they work for the corporation to protect its reputation (HW, 6 April). The advert for Multi-Purpose Compost premiered this month to around 11 million viewers. Gavin has already been rejected from having a garden at this year’s show after the RHS decided his design was “unsuitable”.

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