Sunday 24 September 2017

Alan Titchmarsh: Getting children outside and eating soil good for them

He also dismissed suggestions that Ground Force could return.

By Sherna Noah

Green-fingered presenter Alan Titchmarsh has complained that children are too clean – admitting he once told a mother to let her son eat soil.

The presenter and former chat show host, 68, said “everybody catches everything now”.

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Talking about his grandchildren, the star told ITV show Lorraine: “Whenever they come to us, they say ‘outside grandpa, outside, outside’ and I think that’s great.

“A lady said to me once ‘What do I do about my little boy eating soil?’ and I said ‘make sure that he gets enough!’.

“All these antiseptic wipes… everybody catches everything now… it’s true… (there are) no antibodies at all.”

The presenter, who injured his thumb by slamming it in the car door on the way to catch a train, joked: “Eat some more soil Alan, your thumb will be fine!”

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Alan said it was unlikely that Ground Force – the makeover show which propelled the gardener alongside Charlie Dimmock and Charlie Walsh to fame – would return to mark its 20th anniversary.

There have been suggestions the series – which started a decking craze in Britain – could be back as a one-off.

“It’s years since we stopped. We can’t lift paving slabs. Charlie probably can! … I could point a lot,” he added.

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