To: Monty Don
From: Iain Thomson
Date: 22 November 2015

Dear Mr Don

Please, please, please stop your incessant and elaborate hand and arm waving when speaking to the television cameras. You inflict it on viewers in "Gardeners' World" and now in "The Secret  History of the British Garden" where, in the first programme in the series (The 17th Century), you even took your hands off the steering-wheel of the Land Rover vehicle you were driving to gesticulate at the camera.

The subjects of your programmes are plants and gardens, not Monty Don, so you should, in my opinion (and, I suspect, in the opinion of many silent others), desist from this immensely distracting arm-wavery of yours that directs viewers attention on to Monty Don. A generous infusion of Alistair Cooke would be very beneficial.

It will be too late to do anything with "The Secret History", but not, perhaps, with future programmes of yours. 
Although I am being adversely critical of your presentational style, this is intended as constructive criticism of what are otherwise very interesting programmes.

Kind regards.

Iain Thomson


  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,089

    All presenters do that.

    It's why I don't watch TV

    One of the reasonsimage

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 28,197

    I doubt he'll see this Iain. Perhaps you should contact him directly with your concerns about his style. Personally, I love his style of presenting - he's calm and considerate and has a lovely way with other people. Unlike many I can think of.

    I'd never be finished writing letters if I contacted all the ones that annoyed me! image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Have you nothing better to do with your time Iain?

  • I think Mr Thomson is a relative newcomer to posting on this forum - unless of course he's been using an alias for some time!  If he'd been around for a while - like some of us - he'd know that there was a time when Monty did respond to some of the messages.  I bet Monty still does read the posts here, and I'm sure he knows that the vast majority of us wouldn't dream of criticising his presentation skills and we enjoy all the programmes to which he contributes.  I'm sure he won't rise to this "bait" - as I've done ! - but I'd like him to know that I'm really surprised that someone would be so rude as to make such comments as those in the first post here on this thread, and I'm sure that lots of people would agree.


  • Hi Iain!

    Have you ever tried explaining something to someone and kept your hands firmly down by your side? image

    I agree with Fairygirl and jo, Monty is a calm, knowledgeable presenter- he doesn't shout as some 'overenthusiastic' presenters do. He clearly loves what he does and so do I. image

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 14,251

    I never even noticed Monty's arm waving, so had to look for it tonight. I suppose he does a bit, but it doesn't annoy me. I rather like his enthusiasm.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Snow MaidenSnow Maiden South Coast UKPosts: 862

    I hadn't noticed it either. I think he has a nice presenting manner.

  • I love gardening, love gardens, think the subject of the programme is really interesting but I am sorry ten minutes of Monty sends me to sleep.  I would prefer to see less of him and more of the gardens.  Sorry to upset all the Monty fans.

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Armography???? have I missed something? it could be I was so engrossed in the thread of the programme I did not realise that Monty was using semaphore at the same time. Having enjoyed both of the showings and looking forward to the next my one and only doubt is about the poor tree dug up and re-positioned, methinks it to be doomed, far too much damage done in digging it out. As to arm waving show me a presenter who stands at attention whilst speaking or even one of us poor downtrodden gardeners trying to tell someone how big his cabbage is or even the caterpillars eating it, almost impossible.


  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    I must say I hadn't noticed excessive gesticulation. and I do like Monty's relaxed style.  But I can't stand the artificial enthusiasm of another presenter...


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