Alan Titchmarsh has said he feels “relieved” after receiving a coronavirus jab, as he heaped praise on researchers and medics involved in the vaccination programme.
The broadcaster and gardener, 71, urged people to accept the offer of being vaccinated, saying: “You have got to do your bit.”
He was given the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine at a fire station in Basingstoke, Hampshire, on Monday.
He told the PA news agency the process was quick and easy and he has felt no adverse effects.
Titchmarsh praised the vaccine rollout, adding: “It is astonishing, we are all too ready to criticise and not ready enough to praise on occasions where we should be grateful, and let them know that we are grateful for all their efforts.”
Discussing the centre where he was given his jab, he said: “It was the first day that they have been doing it, so fair play to them, they managed to do it extremely smoothly.”
Titchmarsh added: “We are so lucky now to have a national health service which can swing into action the way it has been under tremendously pressurised circumstances.
“The medics, the doctors, the nurses are working under tremendous pressure and I just feel enormous gratitude to them for doing what they do.”
“They really are working their socks off,” he added.
Titchmarsh urged those who are sceptical about having the vaccine to ensure they come forward for a jab.
“Life is a gamble but you take what you think is a calculated risk, and I think this has been researched as much as it could be,” he said.
“You have to go with the balance of probabilities and it makes great sense, having seen the dreadful numbers of fatalities with this, that we take the least risky option, and that is the vaccine.”
Titchmarsh said he has “got to an age now where you have to be a bit careful and I have been careful, staying at home and trying to avoid contact as much as possible”.
It is therefore a “relief” to have been vaccinated, he said.
Titchmarsh joins other famous faces receiving the vaccine, including naturalist Sir David Attenborough, actor Sir Ian McKellen, Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith, actress Dame Judi Dench and entertainer Lionel Blair.