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Why Monty Don was forced to take a break from Gardeners' World

The presenter suffered a stroke 12 years ago 

Emmy Griffiths

We couldn't imagine Gardeners' World without Monty Don, but the TV personality was forced to step down from the show temporarily after suffering a stroke in 2008.

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Monty, who was 52 at the time, took time off to rest and recuperate, saying: "I am proud to have led Gardeners' World for the past five years and have enjoyed every minute of sharing my passion with the programme's viewers. I intend to take some gardening leave for the rest of the summer to make a full recovery and so that I am ready to tackle new projects." 

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His agent added: "He is in great form, surrounded by friends and family, and we are confident that with the break and time to rest he will make a full recovery." 

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He previously opened up about experiencing the stroke, telling The Guardian in 2009: "I was so exhausted I did not know whether I was coming or going. I remember waking up feeling strange and dizzy and saying to Sarah, 'God, something funny is happening; I may be having a stroke.' We weren't thinking: this is a disaster. I said: 'Hang on, I can move my fingers.' I remember thinking: 'Oh, get a grip, you're fine.'"

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Monty has previously spoken about his health scare

He also told the Daily Mail: "I'd been feeling pretty rotten since Christmas, which I'd put down to exhaustion because I'd been working so hard, but this was completely different... It felt like there was a kind of chasm in my head, as if there was a section that wasn't working. It was the feeling that I wouldn't be able to speak if I tried, but then when I did try I found I could." 

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