“I enjoy being outdoors and in my garden but it’s just impossible in this weather. When I went to the Hampton Court Flower Show Opening Night earlier this year, the rain simply pounded down, although we still had a wonderful time.”
He admits to picking up tips from the RHS Shows, “I like to see the flowerbeds and emulate them. Our own garden is like an extension of our dining room with a lovely table and chairs and beautiful flowers. It’s a very pretty town garden and we have a wonderful girl who comes in to help. We just tell her what we’d like. I love all types of country flowers in the garden but we always have white orchids, the stephanotis in the house. We live in Hackney, near Columbia Road market so we often go and collect the most beautiful cut flowers,” he explains.
“If I lived in the country I’d definitely grow vegetables but they take up too much room in a town garden. We do grow herbs and I enjoy cooking as long as I have enough time to shop and prepare properly.
“I remember one of my relatives having an allotment when I was young and friends in London now have one too; it seems people visit their allotment on a Sunday morning and then stagger home a little drunk in time for Sunday lunch. Allotments are great things.”
Ironically, the Greek translation of Christopher’s favourite indoor flowers stephanotis, means ‘crown’ and he was crowned King (‘or Queen’, he laughs) of the Jungle for I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here in 2010, the delightful Dame admits, “ I found the Jungle very difficult indeed. I have a three line whip; I loved every minute of it; I would not have missed it for the world and I would never do it again. As viewers you only see one hour of twenty four, it’s very boring although I did thoroughly enjoy being outdoors. I’ve always hated camping and as a kid remember waking up in a caravan in the middle of a field covered in dew; I’m much more of a Four-Seasons Hotel man these days. I thought I would be worried about creepy crawlies in the jungle but I had the best sleep ever. The air was wonderful.”