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Monty Don marks what would have been his dog Nigel’s 12th birthday

Earlier this week the Gardeners’ World presenter revealed that his pet had died.

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Nigel often stole the show on BBC Two’s Gardeners’ World (BBC)

Nigel often stole the show on BBC Two’s Gardeners’ World (BBC)

Nigel often stole the show on BBC Two’s Gardeners’ World (BBC)

Monty Don has shared a tribute to his late golden retriever Nigel, on what would have been the dog’s 12th birthday.

His pet became the surprise star of BBC Two’s Gardeners’ World, receiving his own fan mail, social media fan accounts and lent his name to Don’s book Nigel: My Family And Other Dogs.

In a post on Twitter on Sunday, Don said: “It would have been Nigel’s 12 birthday today. I shall raise a glass in celebration of his life.”

The presenter, 64, also shared a photo of Nigel with his front paws upon a ladder in a garden.

Broadcaster Reverend Richard Coles said he would join Don in toasting the dog’s life, commenting: “Me too!”

Earlier this week Don revealed Nigel had died after he was taken ill and is now buried with “lots of tennis balls”.

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Nigel (BBC)

Nigel (BBC)

Nigel (BBC)

Nigel was frequently seen following Don around the garden with Don’s other dog Nellie.

Last year, Don said on Twitter that Nigel had had surgery to remove some growths from his mouth

This week, Don told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that Nigel had been more than a companion and had helped him with his struggles with depression.

PA Media