Monty Don: Gardeners’ World host opens up on bereavement of ‘true love’ in rare admission

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Monty Don, 70, revealed that the death of his beloved retriever Nigel caused him great sadness as he was much loved by the gardening expert. The Gardeners’ World host shared that his dog’s unexpected passing was a “proper bereavement” and hit him hard emotionally.

It’s true love

Monty Don

“It’s true love and, as with losing anyone you love, it’s real grief,”  Monty told The Times.

Back in May, Monty’s golden retriever died after suffering “violent, unstoppable seizures”.

The dog made regular appearances on BBC Two’s Gardeners’ World and even lent his name to Monty’s book Nigel: My Family and Other Dogs.

The star shared a photo of a terracotta pot with a sentimental engraving.

It read: “Nigel 2008-2019,” along with a small picture of the dog.

Monty captioned the post: “This arrived today from Whichford in memory of the old boy.

“I shall have to plant it appropriately #tennisballtree.”

The star was left devastated following Nigel’s death as he paid tribute to his “old friend” via his social media accounts.

View this post on Instagram

Today is publication day of ‘My Garden World’ – available online and at every good bookshop. These two were with me every day I wrote, walked and worked. Nigel died the day after I wrote the last word- so the book is dedicated to his memory.

A post shared byMonty Don (@themontydon) on

He wrote: “I am very sorry to announce that Nigel has died.

“He filmed every moment of last Friday’s programme and right to the end was happy, healthy and his usual calm, lovely self.

“But he was suddenly taken ill with violet, unstoppable seizures and despite everything that our wonderful vets could do he slipped quietly away with no pain or suffering and is now buried in the garden with lots of tennis balls.

“Rest now old friend. See you in the sweet bye and bye.” (sic)

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Last year on Twitter, Monty revealed that Nigel had undergone surgery to remove growths in his mouth.

The dog’s unusual name is said to come from the gardening enthusiast’s humour at giving pet’s human names.

Monty also recently discussed the difficulty of growing up with his dad Denis, who he described as being a “frightening figure” and worried at times his dad would take his own life when he struggled through “deep depressive fits”.

Monty’s father had served in the armed forces and has previously “killed people”, although the garden expert shared that he was not an “aggressive” person by nature.

Monty shared with the publication: “He was an army heavyweight boxing champion and a commando and had been through the war.

“He had killed people. He was not in any way aggressive but it was latent … He was a scary man. 

“You didn’t mess with him and he had these deep depressive fits when he wouldn’t talk to anyone, “ he added to The Times.

Gardeners’ World airs on BBC Two at 8am Tuesday, September 29.

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