Frances Tophill, 32, admitted she was once told off by a friend for the way she said “hello” when she began presenting Love Your Garden. The presenter, who was newbie when she joined the ITV team, hadn’t realised she was putting a specific twang on the word subconsciously.
One my friends always used to tell me off for the way I said hello
She made the admission in a recent interview with Kitchen Garden Magazine’s podcast, during a discussion about likability among TV stars.
“Alan [Titchmarsh] has always said to me if you try and sell something or try and be something, you’re going to fall down,” Frances explained.
“The only thing you can ever be consistently, is yourself.
“And that’s what he’s done, and that’s what he is!” she beamed.
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But the horticulturalist admitted presenting anything on TV involves a lot more acting than viewer’s realise.
“You have to do things over and over again,” she said.
“But I’m not an actor, non of us are actors!
“So we’re all ourselves – if you can see someone is trying to be someone that they’re not, that’s when they come cropper.”
However, Frances noted that despite likability, you can never please everyone.
She giggled as she told the tale of her pal reprimanding her for the way she says “hello”.
“One my friends always used to tell me off for the way I said hello,” she laughed.
“I remember he used to say, ‘Whenever Alan goes away then comes back, you always say hellooooo,'” she mimicked the way she apparently holds her o’s at the end of the word.
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“And I didn’t even notice!”
She revealed he used to try and get her to say it differently, but she would always resort to the same way as it had become a natural reaction.
“It just comes out!” she hooted.
Following her appointment to the popular ITV programme, Frances has become a familiar face within the horticultural community, now presenting Gardeners’ World alongside Monty Don, Carol Klein and Adam Frost for almost five years.
But despite having grown a little more used to the glitz and glam of being on TV, in the beginning the gardener admitted she felt like she was having “out of body experiences” when she secured her first TV job, especially because she was still a student at the time.
Having joined the likes of her legend Alan Titchmarsh, she confessed her new life completely blew her mind.
“I remember on my 23rd/24th birthday sitting in a five star hotel drinking beer and looking around me and thinking, ‘What’s happened to be life?’
“‘Everything’s gone weird!”
Gardeners’ World airs tonight at 8:30pm on BBC Two.
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