TV gardening presenter Monty Don has announced his doggy co-star Nigel has died.
The face BBC’s Gardeners’ World shared a heartbreaking post as he said his “lovely” friend was “suddenly” taken ill.
He laid Nigel to rest in his garden along with his beloved tennis balls.
Suddenly taken ill
On Instagram, Monty wrote: “I am very sorry to announce that Nigel has died.
“To the end he was happy, healthy and his usual calm, lovely self.
“But he was suddenly taken ill and he slipped away quietly 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.”
View this post on Instagram
I am very sorry to announce that Nigel has died. To the end he was happy, healthy and his usual calm, lovely self. But he was suddenly taken ill and 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.
Afterwards, he thanked fans for their messages of support.
Nigel, who was 11, featured on BBC Two’s Gardeners’ World.
He and fellow golden retriever Nellie followed Monty around.
Rest now old friend. See you in the sweet bye and bye.
He became so popular he even had his own Twitter account.
Meanwhile, Monty Don has spoken about his love of dogs in the past.
“I’ve always had dogs,” he told a Gardener’s World 50th anniversary special.
“I had dogs when I was a boy, I had dogs when I was a student and I’ve had dogs in London… I’ve never been without one.”
And he remembered how Nigel gradually stole the show on Gardener’s World.
“When Nigel first started to appear on Gardener’s World, it was only because he was there,” he said. “There was no plan.
“Then I realised he was a complete media tart, and would choose the best position, and just hit the light, and all the rest of it.”
Soon, fans started writing in to ask about Nigel.
“And before long, he had taken over,” Monty explained.
“And then by popular demand, he had to appear.”
However, the younger dog Nellie was often bored with filming.
Meanwhile, a reporter asked Monty how it felt to be “upstaged” by his pet and his response was clear.
“I know my place – I’m a handler,” he joked.
Laid to rest
Nigel’s final resting place is in the garden at Monty’s Herefordshire home next to those of pet dogs Beaufort, Red, Poppy and Barry – and cats Stimpy and Blue.
Each one has their own headstone.
Monty and wife Sarah have three children, two sons Adam and Tom, and a daughter Freya.
Meanwhile, he has gardened on television for many years and has starred on This Morning.
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