Nigel, Monty Don’s Beloved Dog And Gardeners’ World Star, Dies Aged 12

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 11 May 2020 14:23
Nigel, Monty Don's Beloved Dog And Gardeners' World Star, Dies Aged 12Nigel, Monty Don's Beloved Dog And Gardeners' World Star, Dies Aged 12@CliveChenery/Twitter/BBC

Monty Don’s beloved dog Nigel has died at the age of 12.


The Gardeners’ World presenter took to Twitter to announce the sad news today, May 11.

The 64-year-old television presenter said Nigel had ‘slipped away quietly’ and wasn’t in any pain.

Paying tribute to his ‘old friend’, Monty Don wrote:

I am very sorry to announce that Nigel has died. He slipped quietly away with no pain or suffering and is now buried in the garden with lots of tennis balls. Rest now old friend. See you in the sweet bye and bye.


Nigel frequently featured on the BBC Two programme alongside Don’s other dog, Nellie. He was known to follow Don around the garden and often play with tennis balls.

Fans became concerned about Nigel’s welfare in 2012 when he failed to feature on the show; Don went on to tell Gardeners’ World viewers that Nigel had sustained an injury which is why he hadn’t been on.


While the injury was quite serious – the poor pooch had ruptured a disc in his spine while trying to catch a tennis ball – he went on to make a full recovery and eventually returned to the show.

The golden retriever was so popular that Don went on to write a book about his four-legged friend called Nigel: My Family and Other Dogs.

Released in 2016, the autobiography went on to prove extremely popular and received rave reviews, including going on to be a Sunday Times best seller.

Several tributes have been paid to Nigel following Don’s announcement on social media.


BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker responded to the tweet, saying: ‘How grim to hear. Sorry Monty. He was a much loved part of the GW experience.’

Someone else replied saying: ‘Have just stood in my kitchen and had a cry. Funny how we can develop feelings and empathy for dog and owner, we’ve never met.’

Another Gardeners’ World fan wrote:

Oh Monty. I’m so sorry. Such a heart aching loss. He’ll always be in the nations hearts. Thank you for sharing his wonderful life every week with you in the garden. May there be endless tennis balls for him.

It’s evident Nigel’s death will have a huge impact on the show and its fans. RIP Nigel. You’ll be missed.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Animals, BBC, Film and TV, Gardeners' World, Monty Don, Nigel the dog


Michele/Twitter and 2 others
  1. Michele/Twitter


  2. Jam the gardener/Twitter


  3. Dan Walker/Twitter