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Gardener’s World host Rachel de Thame reveals on TV she has cancer

  • Rachel de Thame, 56, revealed her battle with killer disease started this year
  • Mother of four has been missed by viewers wondering where she had been
  • She told BBC: ‘I’m doing well. It’s caught early so that’s all very positive’

The Color Toner Experts

A star of Gardener’s World today explained why she hasn’t appeared in the current series and said: ‘I haven’t been hiding, I have breast cancer’

Former model Rachel de Thame, 56, has revealed her battle with the killer disease started earlier this year as she was interviewed during the BBC’s live coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show last night.

The mother-of-four, who has varieties of roses, dahlias and lupins named after her, spoke out after Gardener’s World viewers demanded to know where she was.  

Interviewed at Chelsea yesterday she said: I haven’t been hiding, but I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the beginning of the year and so I have been undergoing treatment for that.   

Rachel de Thame, 56, has revealed her battle with the killer disease and she was praised by friend and co-host Monty Don who called her story inspirational

Rachel de Thame, 56, has revealed her battle with the killer disease and she was praised by friend and co-host Monty Don who called her story inspirational

Rachel said later she was overwhelmed by the messages of goodwill from fans wondering where she had been

Rachel said later she was overwhelmed by the messages of goodwill from fans wondering where she had been

‘[I’m] doing well and coming towards the end of it. It’s caught early so that’s all very positive, so on the whole it’s better not to be working too much just now’.

After the interview host Monty Don said while his friend had been missing from Gardener’s World she had been desperate to get to Chelsea.

He said: ‘Anybody who knows Rachel would knows that wild horses wouldn’t have kept her from Chelsea this year’.

After her appearance, viewers praised her courage and she said on Twitter: ‘I’m overwhelmed by the lovely messages following tonight’s RHSChelsea coverage Thank you so much, it means a great deal to me.’

Ms de Thame is a popular and at times controversial member of the Gardener’s World team. 

In 2009 she came to prominence – and upset the horticultural world on her Chelsea Flower Show debut – by claiming professional training is no substitute for ‘a good eye’. 

In 2015 Thame has told how she was banned from breastfeeding at the Chelsea Flower Show.

The gardening star, 53, whose children are aged 12 to 29, told the Radio Times: ‘I’m an earth mother. I liked being pregnant and giving birth and breastfeeding. Up until that point, the job I was doing was working really well with juggling the kids, but not then.’  

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