By Ian Dunt

TV presenter Alan Titchmarsh has prompted bemusement by using an interview to insist gardening is "more important" than politics.

The gardening expert, novelist and soon-to-be radio presenter told the Radio Times the hobby had a "consistent point of view".

Asked if gardening was more important than the BBC's Newsnight programme, he replied: "Much more important. Tomorrow, Newsnight will have different stories and priorities."

He added: "Gardening is more important than politics. It has a consistent point of view. And that is: that a piece of ground should be cherished.

"If you live in the countryside and look out of the window, you will see there is no ostensible difference between this year and 200 years ago.

"The natural world has a kind of stability. There is a cycle that’s reliable and sound, and that is real life to me."

The presenter also criticised people who spent too much time online or watching television.

"There is a greater world out there that people can’t see because they’re glued to a screen," he said.

"Gardening is the stuff of life. It’s about putting a seed in the ground and making it grow."

The gardener's radio programme on Classic FM begins this Saturday.