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andy Garland
BBC Radio Kent Presenter
His Sunday gardening show
attracts over 100,000 listeners
and he’s the soundtrack to the
drive home for people across
Kent. But what does he love
about living in Sevenoaks?
interview vikki rimmer Portrait russell Harper
tell us a bit about yourself I’m lucky enough
to be on the air five days a week presenting two
completely different shows – the gardening program
on sunday and the Drive Time show from monday to
Thursday on BBC radio Kent. Gardening is what it
says on the tin – primarily a gardening phone in with
features related to horticulture. When I first did the
programme ten years ago I said to the boss “I know
very little about gardening”, but then when I bought
my first house in Sevenoaks I wanted the garden to look
nice, and I became more interested. I also went on to
get an allotment in sevenoaks. There are a couple of
allotment sites in sevenoaks, and ours is off Quaker hall
football team play at rayleys Field next to sevenoaks
Lane by st John’s church. Five years ago we only had
rugby Club – it’s probably one of the best pitches in the
40% occupancy and now there are 20 people on the
sevenoaks league. I also play squash at Wilderness and
waiting list! We’ve got lots of young families and younger
swim at the leisure centre – I don’t do a lot of swimming
allotment holders – it’s a really sociable thing to do. I
at the moment as I’m in the learner pool with my
brought back the autumn show after a break of 18 years
daughter most of the time.

e’ve been
and we also do an open day with the National Garden
in Sevenoaks
scheme (NGs). What’s your favourite sevenoaks story?
I’m fascinated by the ongoing saga of the stag Theatre.
for seven years
How did you come to live in sevenoaks?
Here we are in the middle of affluent Sevenoaks and the
A pin in a map! We needed to live somewhere that
town doesn’t seem to be able to support a theatre and now; its such a
was between Tunbridge Wells, where I work at the
cinema, even given the plethora of restaurants that have
studio and London, where my wife works. I’d been to
opened since we’ve been here. here was a theatre, that
fantastic place
sevenoaks for work several times, and Lucy is a Kent girl
was set up by local people to serve its community, that
and had been here before. It was a nice quiet town, yet
has gone through several different guises, and now the
to live and the
close to London. You’re just 24 miles from piccadilly, yet
two front runners out of 28 expressions of interest to run
people are so
you feel you’re in the middle of the country. We’ve been
it are two councils!
in sevenoaks for seven years now. It’s such a fantastic friendly

place to live – and the people are really friendly. tell us a secret in sevenoaks. The Blues
with Bottle Club – a Blues club that takes place at
How involved are you in the community
The Anchor pub in London road, usually, the first
of sevenoaks? I’m very involved in the Allotment
Wednesday of the month. It’s free to get in and hosts the
Association and I’m also involved with the football
most fantastic blues artists from within Kent and beyond.
team: the Wilderpark reserves, who I play for in the
It’s a great opportunity to see live music in the town.
Sevenoaks and District League. I recently qualified as
The Blues and Bottle Club is definitely the secret that
a referee (there’s a massive shortage of referees in grass
should come out of the bag.
roots football), via the Kent FA who are very active in

listen to andy on
running courses. I’m also a member of the sevenoaks What’s your favourite restaurant in
BBC Radio Kent Drive
branch of the referees Association. We’re also National sevenoaks? We go to Banana Leaf very regularly
Time: Monday – Thursday
Trust members and with Knole, Ide hill, Chartwell and because the food is great and the chef Khalis raman
4.00 – 7.00pm and
Ightham mote on our doorstep we often visit and take is a real character, he makes you feel very welcome.
Sunday Gardening from
friends who come to visit us in sevenoaks. Knole is also a he comes out into the restaurant and chats to you and
8.00 – 11am
great place for a run! recommends dishes and sometimes even buys you a
drink! On a special occasion we go to Gregg’s which has
Where do you play sport in the town? my
fantastic food, beautifully presented. October 2008 vine 
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