TV presenter and chef Ainsley Harriott has thanked a group of attendees who helped his sister after she had fallen into a pond at the Chelsea Flower Show opening day.
The celebrity chef said: "Just a big thank you to everyone who helped my sister when she had a fall at the Chelsea Flower Show this morning. She’s doing fine and all is well."
Celebrities and members of the royal family are getting a first look at the Royal Horticultural Society's showpiece event on Monday, before it opens to members of the public.
A group of attendees, including DIY expert and presenter Nick Knowles, had been admiring the BBC's show garden on Monday morning when the accident took place.
Eye-witnesses said that Harriott's sister fell into the pond that is part of the BBC Studios "Our Green Planet and RHS Bee Garden" and that the presenter "pulled her out".
Just a big thank you to everyone who helped my sister when she had a fall at the Chelsea Flower Show this morning. She’s doing fine and all is well 😊 xx
— Ainsley Harriott (@AinsleyFoods) May 23, 2022
Matt Peskett, an RHS volunteer who saw the accident, said he was supposed to be showing people around the garden tomorrow but they have now put barriers in place sparking fears that people would not be allowed in on safety grounds.
He told The Telegraph: "There were 30 or 40 celebs out and they were all drinking champagne. And then all of a sudden one of the guests stepped backwards and fell in. They fully fell in, not just a foot."
Images of the incident show concerned guests, including Knowles, attending to Harriott's sister as she sat down after being pulled from the narrow, open water feature.
Mr Peskett added: "I hope they don't keep it like this tomorrow - it would be a shame. Poor old Joe Swift."
Joe Swift, an English garden designer and broadcaster, has been leading the design of the BBC Studios garden for over two years, but there were never plans for the garden to be judged.
After Chelsea, the BBC Studios garden will be relocated to a local school for "students, teachers and the pollinators to enjoy".
One attendee who saw the accident happen said: "The garden was packed with lots of people and I think the woman must have fallen into the pond or tripped over and ended up in the water.
"I think she nearly drowned. She was pulled out by Ainsley Harriott and some other celebrities before they laid her down on the floor. She was coughing up lots of water."
The garden is one of numerous displays that feature cutting edge techniques from world-renowned designers.
The BBC Studios garden describes itself as "inspiring garden lovers to play their part in balancing our ecosystems through planting and design that supports bees and all our wild pollinators, especially those currently in decline within the UK and beyond."
The Chelsea Flower Show is expected to attract thousands of visitors during its week-long run.
This is the first time since the pandemic started that the show has returned to its traditional May slot, with gardens focusing on wildlife, wellbeing and floral displays to mark the Platinum Jubilee.