Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

I've Been Offered Strictly, but I Don't Want to Be the 'Old Man' of the Show; Alan Titchmarsh Is One of the UK's Best-Loved TV Personalities and He's Written Several Books. He Talks to SARAH MORGAN about His Latest Factual Tome the Queen's Houses, Why He's Scaling Back His Workload and Why You Won't Be Seeing Him on Strictly Come Dancing

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

I've Been Offered Strictly, but I Don't Want to Be the 'Old Man' of the Show; Alan Titchmarsh Is One of the UK's Best-Loved TV Personalities and He's Written Several Books. He Talks to SARAH MORGAN about His Latest Factual Tome the Queen's Houses, Why He's Scaling Back His Workload and Why You Won't Be Seeing Him on Strictly Come Dancing

Article excerpt

Byline: SARAH MORGAN

I'VE been in and around royal houses and their gardens for quite a while, and it just struck me that I didn't have a book about them all. I thought it might be nice to take a modern look at the history of all the Queen's houses - Buckingham Palace, Sandringham, Windsor Castle, Balmoral and Holyrood, the ones that are hers both privately and officially. How did you research it? Did you get access to royal archives?

OVER the years I've visited the places officially and unofficially, and like everybody else, I do my research. Some online, but mainly through books. I've always been interested in the history of the monarchy and where they live, so a lot of it was based on my archive, as it were. Were there any shocks while you were doing your research? THEY'RE a lot more colourful than you think they are, the amount of things that've gone on within their walls. The stories are fascinating, stories of real people who did amazing things.

People have even been murdered in the royal housabout. Even Yorkshire, God's own county, doesn't have one! HA HA! It's clearly an oversight! Is it true you're scaling back your workload? I AM, slightly, but I'm certainly not retiring. I'm doing the last run of my chat show (The Alan Titchmarsh Show) at the moment, and I'll still be on television, so nobody will notice it except me.

But hopefully it'll mean I can spend more time with my children and grandchildren. And you're going to be appearing in the Wind In The Willows soon. I AM, which is terribly exciting. Talk about scaling back - I sign off from the chat show, have a week off and then I go straight into rehearsals! It's a wonderful ballet, and I'm narrating it from the end of November to the beginning of January - sometimes it's nine performances a week. Sixty-seven altogether. I've failed at scaling back, I think! Do you think your book could be turned into a TV series? IT would make an excellent series. Bits of it have been done. We've had programmes about Windsor Castle and Buckingham

Palace, but Sandringham isn't really known, and neither is Balmoral, so it's a possibility. Is it true that you fancy doing Strictly Come Dancing in the future? …

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