Alan Titchmarsh: The Crown is playing with people’s lives

Alan Titchmarsh has criticised The Crown for “playing with people’s lives”.

The broadcaster and gardener, who is a friend of the Prince of Wales, said he had only watched the first two series of the royal Netflix drama before deciding to stop.

He claimed the recent fourth series, which has attracted criticism for allegedly not doing enough to ensure viewers know it is a work of fiction, consisted largely of “conjecture”.

The Crown season three
The Crown season three

Released late last year, it features Diana, Princess of Wales (Emma Corrin) and dramatises her relationship with Charles (Josh O’Connor).

Oliver Dowden, the Culture Secretary, has asked Netflix to add a disclaimer to episodes, a request the US company denied.

Speaking to Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain, Titchmarsh said: “I watched the first two series, which were sufficiently distant historically to be interesting. Now we are getting much closer to the present day and so much of it is conjecture.

“We weren’t behind those closed doors when things were going on. To say, ‘Oh, it’s a drama’ – I think it is playing with people’s lives.

“Whether it’s the Prince of Wales or whether it is you or me. If somebody made a drama about we three and our private lives and they just made it up and said, ‘Well, it’s a drama really’.

“You are using real people. Whoever they are, I don’t think it is a good idea. That’s just me.”

The 71-year-old also expressed enthusiasm for getting a coronavirus vaccination and said he believed he was in “group four” in terms of priority.

‘Just watching flowers grow is renewal, it’s reassurance.’

Have you found gardening as welcome respite and exercise during the pandemic?

Alan Titchmarsh highlights the huge mental and physical health benefits of getting out in the garden during such difficult times.

— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) January 6, 2021

Asked about the jab, he said: “I most certainly will. I am waiting. I think I am in group four. I am 71 so I sneak into group four. I’m up for it.

“You can’t deny modern science. If you did, we would all still be having TB, rickets and ringworm. I am all for it and a huge admirer of both the research that has gone into this, the speed with which it has been properly tested and of course the NHS. I am just astonished at what they are doing.

“The sooner we get 24/7 testing the better. Let’s get on with it.”

The TV veteran also detailed the benefits of gardening during lockdown after losing a stone during the spring and summer.

He said: “To pardon the pun, it has grounded us all. It has shown a sense of reality that seems to have been lacking in this crazy world at the moment and I think a lot of people, particularly because the last lockdown happened in spring, the garden was burgeoning and coming back to life.

“A lot of people discovered the solace, the mental health benefits of being out there on the ground in the garden watching things grow.”