My dad is my hero. I might have said this before, or something along those lines in this very blog.
When I was at uni he appeared on Fifteen to One twice, coming second and then third. I was very proud of him, and told the odd person about my wonderful pa who was clever enough to almost win a television game show. One evening I was approached on my way home from a night out by a young man I vaguely recognised from my halls. After chatting for a while about our respective evenings he said suddenly “I hope you don’t mind me asking, but are you the girl whose dad was on television?” I was surprised that he had heard the story, since it didn’t strike me as being quite good enough to make me recogniseable, but I said “Well, he was on TV a couple of times, which is pretty cool…?” and he seemed overly impressed, and then suddenly overly familiar.
“Yeah, it’s really cool,” he said, apparently attempting to hold my hand.
“It’s pretty cool,” I repeated, still a bit puzzled. “It’s a shame I didn’t inherit his talent for retaining general knowledge.”
The boy, who now had his arm looped casually over my shoulders, looked even more impressed. “Is he good at that too?”
“Too?” I queried.
“Yeah, I thought he was good at plants and stuff..?”
This was beginning to get a bit weird.
“Well, he is but… who do you think my dad is, just out of interest?”
The boy looked at me with a knowing expression.
“I know it’s supposed to be a secret but… Alan Tichmarsh!”
I felt a bit awkward breaking the news, but at least after that he didn’t want to hold my hand any more.
Although my dad isn’t a famous gardener, he has started making a name for himself since retiring, upon the discovery of a new hobby – letter writing.
He’s now written a few that have been published, but the latest one, to the Folkestone Herald, was considered newsworthy enough to become an article in itself.
I have already tweeted this to Jeremy Vine in the hopes of getting my dad an interview on Radio Two. It’ll be almost as good as the time Terry Wogan read out one of his emails…