First famous for his television shows and books on gardening, Mr Titchmarsh is now also a best-selling novelist whose visit under the banner of the Jersey Festival of Words will coincide with publication of his latest work of fiction, The Scarlet Nightingale.
Mr Titchmarsh will be appearing at the Jersey Opera House in An Evening with Alan Titchmarsh on Monday 26 November, as a one-off postscript to the Island’s five-day book festival which will be held in September.
The Scarlet Nightingale, a wartime tale of love, danger and sacrifice whose heroine is sent on a special mission to work alongside the French Resistance, is Mr Titchmarsh’s 11th novel. He has also written four volumes of memoirs and a miscellany celebrating England and ‘Englishness’ in a varied writing career that has grown alongside his celebrated role as one of Britain’s favourite gardening experts.
His literary success will be the main focus of his first appearance on a Jersey stage, but it is likely to also touch on a stellar horticultural CV that includes authorship of 50 gardening books and spells as the main presenter of the BBC’s Gardeners’ World and Ground Force TV programmes.
Mr Titchmarsh said: ‘I first visited Jersey some 30-odd years ago and it has always attracted me, not only because of its horticultural connections – I was judging its gardens when I first visited – but also its wartime history which chimes well with The Scarlet Nightingale. I’m really looking forward to returning.’
His own Alan Titchmarsh Show ran for eight years on ITV and he has also presented How to be a Gardener, The Great British Village Show and The Nature of Britain.
His new novel begins in the late 1930s as a family tragedy forces 17-year-old Rosamund Hanbury and her French governess to leave the Devon coast for a new life in London, where she has to learn to act like a lady and is swept off her feet by Harry Napier.
When the Phoney War ends and the Blitz begins, personal tragedy strengthens Rosamund’s determination to help defeat the Nazis and she is recruited into the Special Operations Executive for the mission that will truly put her courage and loyalty to the test.
Pippa Le Quesne, the Jersey Festival of Words director, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to be putting on this special evening with Alan Titchmarsh. He is one of the UK’s best-loved personalities and also a very successful writer who has long been on our wish-list of authors to bring to Jersey.’
The main Jersey Festival of Words 2018 takes place from Wednesday 26 September to Sunday 30 September.
For festival information visit: jerseyfestivalofwords.org