Gardeners’ World presenter Monty Don, 65, and his wife Sarah Don have been married for nearly 40 years. However, it hasn’t always been plain sailing for the couple, as they previously hit rock bottom when they struggled with financial difficulties.
The horticulturalist and his other half’s jewellery company went bankrupt in 1987, leaving the pair surviving on dole money throughout the early 1990s after the stock market crash took all of their savings.
Opening up on the heartbreaking situation in their book, The Jewel Garden, Sarah explained: “A bad situation got worse every day.
“The banks wanted their money and started to bounce our cheques whilst simultaneously adding their charges – and interest on them – to the tally.
“Of course it could not go on. Something had to give. As it turned out, that something proved to be our shop, our business, our savings, our furniture – and our home.”
“I am sad that I have so little to show for that time. At least the children were happy and healthy.”
Monty also addressed the difficult period for their family, revealing: “We were lambs to the slaughter and we lost everything, we lost our house, our business. We sold every stick of furniture we had.”
After losing their money, Monty survived by using Government benefits for a number of years, which has inspired his incredible work ethic since, including authoring books and fronting on Gardeners’ World.
However, the star recently acknowledged that he is now in a privileged position, as he pointed out how many people have lost work as a result of COVID-19.
He told The Times: “No question, I am very lucky. I lost half my filming work this year but compared to most people I’ve had a very, very easy time of it.
“Most years I have another fulfilling project. Last year it was America [for the new book and accompanying documentary], before that I went to Japan, India and Iraq and before that Morocco and Spain and Turkey.
“This is the first time since 2011 that I haven’t had something else on the go that has taken me away.”
Together Monty and Sarah have three children, sons Adam and Tom, and daughter Freya.
Sarah is an author and has previously written a cookbooks tailored to using homegrown crops.