Alan Titchmarsh jokes about bizarre Queen's Jubilee celebration casting that sees him star alongside Tom Cruise
Alan Titchmarsh is set to star alongside Tom Cruise in a bizarre piece of casting for a Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebration - but the gardener has proved he can see the funny side of being on the same call sheet as a Hollywood A-lister.
Gardeners' World host Titchmarsh, 73, is one of the celebrities appearing in The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Celebration, which broadcasts live from Windsor Castle on Sunday and also includes Mission: Impossible star Cruise, Dame Helen Mirren, Damian Lewis and Omid Djalili.
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The celebration includes dramatic enactments of royal scenes throughout history, featuring Mirren as Queen Elizabeth I and Djalili as the "herald" linking scenes together, with Phillip Schofield and Julie Etchingham hosting the programme.
Joking about the eclectic cast list, Titchmarsh said: "Tom Cruise and I are not a natural pairing, but I'm all for breaking the mould!"
He added: "Well, it's raised a few eyebrows and given rise to a few comments, but it has also raised the profile of the event.
"At least I was described as a 'Gardening A-lister', so that will do me, though as well as being a man of the earth I have also been a television presenter and talk show host for more than thirty years now.
"I just want to get out there and do a good job and I am sure Tom Cruise feels the same."
The broadcast is also set to include musical performances from Keala Settle, Gregory Porter and Katherine Jenkins, and hundreds of horses on parade.
Recalling a treasured memory of one meeting with The Queen, Titchmarsh shared a funny story about a cheeky remark she had made to him.
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He said: "I treasure the MBE that Her Majesty pinned on me in the Millennium New Year Honours and also the remark she made as she shook my hand.
"I had talked to the Sandringham Women's Institute a few weeks before my investiture and The Queen, as a member, was in the audience. It seemed to go down well and The Queen laughed in all the right places.
"As she shook my hand at the investiture she said: 'Well, you give a lot of ladies a lot of pleasure.' I am still smiling."
The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Celebration airs on Sunday at 8pm on ITV.
Watch: Tom Cruise and Helen Mirren to headline Queen's Jubilee celebrations