Monty Don: Gardeners’ World star talks discovering cancer was serious ‘Still have a scar’

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Gardeners’ World star Monty Don, 65, has reflected on his childhood memories, including the time he was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer at the age of 10. In his latest interview, the presenter praised his mum Janet and dad Denis for their support as he recalled undergoing radiotherapy for a year.

I still have a scar from elbow to shoulder.

Monty Don

The horticulture expert said he still has a scar from his elbow to shoulder following his health ordeal.

Monty candidly divulged: “They took out all the bone marrow from my upper arm. I still have a scar from elbow to shoulder.

“I was in Battle Hospital in Reading, and I knew it was serious because while my father only came once, my mother came every day. And then I had radiotherapy for a year.”

Monty went on to say in an interview with The Times: “I really liked that because I had a day off from school and my mother would take me and we would have lunch at Heelas, the department store, and I would have steak and kidney pie.”

Praising his “neurotic” mum, he added he “liked doing anything” when it meant spending quality time with her.

The presenter was in hospital again as a child to have his tonsils taken out.

As an adult, he also suffered from peritonitis, caused by an intestinal perforation.

Previously discussing the issue, he told The Guardian: “I spent a few nights in hospital last August with peritonitis.

“It was very serious, but once they had taken my appendix out and dealt with the infection I was packed off home after just four nights.”

In the same chat, he said he was a “sickly child” but said he realised he was “robust” and “vigorous” aged 19.

“Since then I’ve taken ill health to be an irritating interruption into what is a fairly reliable stream of good health,” he explained.

Monty had previously said he believes he would’ve been dead following his peritonitis battle if it wasn’t for his wife Sarah, who called an ambulance at 2am.

In 2008, he also suffered from a stroke, which prompted him to take a break from his television commitments.

Despite his several health issues, Monty said he had no plans to retire at the time.

“No, never. I’m not even considering it,” he told the Daily Mail.

“I’m going to keep working. I reckon I’ve got another 20 years of work in me, if anyone still wants me.”

“My father had retired by 64 and was dead by 67,” he added.

“No thanks. I think my generation is extraordinarily lucky – 60 isn’t old any more, is it? There’s plenty more to come.”

Now aged 65, he still regularly fronts the BBC show Gardeners’ World and has written and produced several garden series of his own.

In recent years, the presenter has also been interacting with fans and garden enthusiasts on Twitter to dish out his advice.

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