When I asked ITV presenter James Wright about his gardening experience, he replied, “Well, I’ve got one; I also used to work for a shopping TV channel that sold a lot of gardening equipment and I enjoy gardening even though it can be a bit too much effort sometimes. Now I’m in my latter years I want less work not more. My own garden is low maintenance, half of it is architectural gravel and the other half is decking.
“It’s a nice garden,” he continues, “I get the sun in the morning so I can go out with a cup of tea or coffee and I had my 5th BBQ of the year last Sunday, which already beats last year’s record. I have a lot of plants and herbs in tubs too, it’s more practical. I’ve got rosemary, thyme, coriander which is a bit hit and miss, and mint; mint is best grown in a pot otherwise it spreads everywhere, I learnt that by mistake. I also grow tomatoes and lettuce in pots. The loose-leaf lettuces are the best as you can just hack off what you need and it just grows more leaves. I love the idea of an allotment and if I inherited a nice one I think I’d be pretty good at it, I don’t mind digging. When I had my garden in London, I couldn’t figure out why everything grew so well but then when I was digging the lawn up, I discovered potatoes and onions under the lawn; I think it must have been an allotment in the War.
Despite being comfortable with a spade, James admits he is still torn between being a city dweller or a country dweller. I think if I can get a bit of the country in the City, that’s the best solution,” he muses, “when I was young I was half city kid and half country kid and felt quite allied to farm life. I used to keep chickens and even hatched 3 eggs; that’s when I became a Dad. Then Hetty the hen went on to have chicks so I was a Granddad,” he teases. “Both my parents are fanatical gardeners, my Dad’s dad was the most fanatical; his lawn was like a bowling green with the traditional stripes. Mum’s side was the country side and they had a full allotment sized fruit and veg patch at the bottom of the garden. My Nan picked veg at 12 o clock and it was eaten at 1 o clock.”
Currently presenting ITV’s People’s Millions, where several worthy Charities benefit from up to £60,000 Lottery funding, James has also thought about how he would spend a Lottery win of his own. “I’d pay off a few bills, have a big fat holiday, get a bigger house with a big garden and employ a gardener,” he laughs.