It's not just about plants and gardens (and plasticine).
On Chelsea Flower Show Monday, the official Press day and the day of judging and of the Royal Visit, there are celebrities all over the place.
They’re invited to support charities, to launch new plants that carry their name and, frankly, just to be around so they get snapped or filmed and that’s another story about the Chelsea Flower Show on the TV news or in the paper. Even the Royal Horticultural Society itself gets in on the reporting, their Celeb Spotter in Chief Jean Vernon has been blogging from the Show on the celebs she’s come across.
I usually miss them all as I’m too busy looking at plants though I did stop to shoot the Queen (you know what I mean) who I suppose is always the top celeb at any Show.
But many are pretty much unknown outside Britain – actors on the British soaps are popular. But this year we had Rod Stewart with his wife Penny Lancaster supporting the new rose ‘Highgrove’. It’s named for Prince Charles’s home and a proportion of the sale price goes to his charity, The Prince's Charities Foundation.
My resident expert on these matters tells me that these celebs vary enormously in their attitude to being there. Some are genuinely into it, for others it’s clearly a chore. You’d think the actors could at least act pleased – isn’t that what actors do?
Emma Thompson, who was at the Show in 2006 supporting Breast Cancer Care is always sited as the best – genuinely willing and genuinely engaged. Ringo Starr gets high marks and this year Stephen Fry. Helen Mirren and top British TV actress Patricia Routledge… well, not so much.
But it’s all part of the Monday mayhem: promoting the Show, promoting plants and promoting charities – and in some cases, of course, it’s the celebs promoting themselves. Just do it with a bit of enthusiasm.
Show closes tomorrow…