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Everything Monty Don has said about leaving Gardeners' World

The 68-year-old plans to leave "within the next five years"

Monty Don on Gardeners' World
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
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Monty Don has presented the BBC staple Gardeners' World for over two decades and while he's become a regular fixture in our Friday night TV schedule, it looks like he may not be sticking around for much longer. 

The presenter has hinted at his departure from the show on various occasions. But what exactly has he said about leaving? Here's all we know…

WATCH: All you need to know about Monty Don's life and career

Everything Monty Don has said about leaving the show

Last year, Monty, 68, said "the logical thing to do" would be to "give up Gardeners' World". 

"The serious point is I will be 70 in two years time," he said during an appearance on Times Radio. "I want to go on. I like making television programmes. I like writing books. To have the energy to do that and not scrabble, always that sense of scrabbling.

Monty Don on Gardeners' World © BBC Studios
Monty Don has presented Gardeners' World since 2003

"To have the energy to do that and not scrabble, always that sense of scrabbling. I think I have to give something up and I'm not prepared to give up writing and I really enjoy the travel stuff I do," he continued. "So therefore the logical thing to give up is Gardener's World, which is, for all its virtues, a remorseless treadmill."

In November, Monty admitted that he expected to depart the show "within the next five years", telling The Guardian that he wants to spend his time and energy on making more documentaries.

Monty Don's mental health 

The speculation around Monty's departure comes amid his ongoing openness about his mental health. Over the years, the presenter has been very candid about his battle with depression, from which he has suffered since his mid-20s.

"I have, for many years, suffered from depression, which comes and goes but tends to be something that is worse in the winter," he recently told Radio Times

Monty Don at Chelsea Flower Show, London, United Kingdom - 21 May 2018© Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Monty plans on leaving the BBC show 'within the next five years'

While the broadcaster said he currently feels "fine", he went on to add: "I wouldn't say I have been healed. I'd say I am being healed. It's an ongoing process."

In December last year, Monty admitted that his seasonal affective disorder was so bad at one point that his wife Sarah threatened to walk out with their three young children if he did not seek help.

Speaking on White Wine Question Time, he said: "Marriage is never a bed of roses.

Monty Don in his Longmeadow garden on Gardeners' World© BBC
Monty's Longmeadow garden often features on the programme

"There was one point where Sarah said to me: 'Look, I just can't take any longer your moods and your black depression, you've got to do something about it because if you don't, I can't live with you – I'll take the children and I'll go.'"

Monty explained that he did make a doctor's appointment and since then, it's time spent in the garden that has helped him cope. "All my life, the one absolute, reliable, healing, nurturing thing is in broader terms the natural world but more specifically the soil, "he said. 

"I mean the earth, the land – if I can do that I'm at a trustworthy, honest, nurturing base level, from there I can grow."

Monty Don and Sarah Don pictured in 2016© Nick Harvey/Shutterstock
Monty with his wife Sarah in 2016

Monty on who he'd like to replace him on Gardeners' World 

While Adam Frost might be the fan-favourite when it comes to the new lead presenter, Monty has other ideas. "I would like to think the next Gardeners’ World presenter ideally would be female, would represent either singly, or in multiplicity, the diversity in this country, that has at least some urban context," he told The Guardian

Monty Don filming at Gardeners World Live
BBC Good Food Show Summer and Gardeners World Live, Birmingham, UK - 14 Jun 2018© Graham Stone/Shutterstock
Monty would like the next host to be a woman

He went on to add: "The world's changing; we need to change with it. In many ways, it's likely I'm the last middle-aged, middle-class white male with a large garden doing Gardeners’ World. Which is fine."