Alan Titchmarsh

Alan Titchmarsh on pain that left him thinking ‘death might be a blessed relief’

Love Your Weekend presenter didn't know what was wrong with him

Alan Titchmarsh is one of Britain’s best-loved TV presenters, and always looks the picture of health when he appears on our screens.

However, it wasn’t so long ago that the former Ground Force star was being airlifted to hospital after suffering with “agonising” chest pains.

The gardening expert, 72, recalled the dramatic incident during an interview with the Bournemouth Echo in 2017.

And he described the episode – which left him needing emergency surgery – as “frightening”.

Alan Titchmarsh had emergency surgery in 2017 (Credit:

Why did Alan Titchmarsh have to go to hospital?

The drama unfolded in April 2016 when Alan began having chest pains at his Isle of Wight home.

After his wife Alison dialled 999, the presenter was taken to his local health facility before being airlifted to the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.

Alan has a history of heart disease in his family – his father died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 62.

So the presenter was understandably concerned with what was happening to him.

Read more: The Queen’s ‘saucy’ comment when awarding Alan Titchmarsh an MBE

“The pain lasted and was absolute agony,” he said. “It was every bit as agonising as a heart attack.

“I hoped I wasn’t going to die and I was hanging on in there, but the pain was so acute, at one point I thought it might be a blessed relief.

“I didn’t know what was wrong and, although I didn’t think it was a heart attack, because the pain wasn’t going down my arm, it was frightening.”

Alison and Alan Titchmarsh
Alan’s wife Alison called the emergency services (Credit:

What did the doctors diagnose?

Eventually, doctors at the hospital got to the bottom of what was causing Alan the pain.

He had gall stones, which meant he had to have emergency surgery to remove his gall bladder.

Read more: Love Your Garden host Alan Titchmarsh: How did he help William and Kate celebrate their wedding?

In 2014, Alan revealed that he was planning to slow down a bit in order to protect his health.

He told the Mirror: “My dad died at 62 and I’ve outlived him. I just thought: ‘Pace yourself, sunshine, don’t go at it like a bull at a gate.'”

Alan Titchmarsh Love Your Weekend
Alan hosts Love Your Weekend on Sundays (Credit: ITV)

And Alan, who now presents Love Your Weekend on Sunday mornings, added: “I’ll never stop completely because I’d be bored rigid.

“But I think I should just ease up as I’d like to be around to see my grandchildren for quite a while.”

Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh is on Sunday mornings at 10am on ITV.

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