Monty Don addressed family struggles as BBC host and his wife ‘lost everything’

Monty Don discusses clematis at Chelsea Flower Show

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Monty Don, 66, has addressed a time in which he and his wife, Sarah Don, were experiencing difficulties. It came after the Gardeners’ World host experienced severe depressive episodes during the financial crash of the 1980s.

The pair met while studying English at the University of Cambridge.

Monty met Sarah (née Erskine), who is a trained architect and jeweller.

They went on to run a successful jewellery business together in Knightsbridge.

The two would attract such clients as Michael Jackson and Princess Diana.

However, the business fell on hard times during the 1980’s financial crash.

It’s at this point, that Monty explained the couple “lost everything.”

The gardening expert revealed in an interview with The Times: “We lost everything…we lost our house, our business.

“We sold every stick of furniture we had at Leominster market,” he said.

Monty also revealed Sarah urged him to seek help after falling deep into depression following bankruptcy.

Their children would ask Sarah ‘Why is Daddy always crying?’

He added: “She said you have to see a doctor because I can’t cope with you and three small children and our life as it is.

“I need help and the only way I can get help is for you to get help.


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“Antidepressants helped initially and I had cognitive behavioural therapy on the NHS, which was very good”.

Monty suffered a stroke in 2008 and told Sarah at the time that he wanted to die in her arms.

He told his wife: “’Hold me because I think I’m dying and, if I am, I want to die in your arms.'”

The event, which Monty has now recovered from, forced him to give up presenting Gardeners’ World for three years.

It wasn’t until Sarah’s father, a retired doctor, advised Monty to go and see a neurologist, that the minor stroke was confirmed.

He has been Gardeners’ World lead presenter since 2003, at which point he replaced Alan Titchmarsh.

The star made his television debut in 1989 with ITV’s This Morning with a gardening segment.

This led to further television work across the years, with his own shows on BBC and Channel 4.

He also began his writing career at the same time, publishing the first of over 25 books in 1990.

Monty wrote a weekly gardening column in The Observer between 1994 and 2006.

Gardeners’ World airs Friday on BBC Two at 8pm.

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