Tuesday 27 June 2017

Charlie Dimmock says sex symbol status in Ground Force days was 'a bit silly'

She rocketed to fame on the makeover show.

By Laura Harding

Ground Force star Charlie Dimmock has said it was “a bit silly” she was regarded as a sex symbol during the gardening programme’s heyday.

The TV star became a household name and won legions of fans for her penchant for gardening without a bra on the makeover show.

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The programme, which first aired 20 years ago and ran until 2005, also made celebrities out of Alan Titchmarsh and Tommy Walsh and started a decking craze in Britain.

Dimmock, 50, said people still recognise her on the street, telling the Press Association: “It is amazing to think that it’s been 20 years.

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“It does feel bizarre that people still recognise me, I find that quite odd this far on, but it’s being repeated all the time.”

The gardener is glad social media did not exist at the time the BBC show was on the air, saying: “That could have been frightening,” and added she found it bizarre she became a subject of lust, saying: “It was a bit silly but I was so lucky on Ground Force I got to do so many things as a gardener.”

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While fans of the show have said they would love to see it return to mark its 20th anniversary, Dimmock said it seems unlikely.

“I love working with them but it’s been and gone,” she said.

“We do all see each other and talk to each other and we are always comparing notes like old times.”

Dimmock, who now stars in Garden Rescue, said the exertions of a makeover show are more taxing than they used to be, saying: “It’s harder now I’m older, it takes me the weekend to get over it.”

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But she cannot imagine a time when she does not enjoy being in her own garden, adding: “Pottering around feels less like hard work and there is nothing better than being outside. It’s good for you mentally, it makes you feel good.”

She has now helped design a giant floral plane made out of 10,000 flowers as part of holiday company Monarch’s Year of Nice campaign, to share the joy of fresh blooms with commuters.

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She handed flowers native to the airline’s destinations, including lavender from Zagreb and honeysuckle from Stockholm, to travellers at Victoria train station, as well as free flights.

She said: “As a gardener, people say they won’t get me flowers because it’s like taking coal to Newcastle, but it’s so nice when people bring me them, it makes me feel special.”

Press Association

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