Horticulturalist, RHS judge and former gardener to the royals Jim Buttress brought an earthy breath of fresh air to Books by the Beach weekend in Scarborough.
He regaled his audience with his life story - from a boy helping his 'Pop' in the potting shed of their Purley home to clinking gin glasses with the Queen Mother in the gardens of Clarence House.
Buttress bows to nobody and cocks a snook at those who are little more than the 'Earl of no-one'.
With just a cycling proficiency test certificate to his name, Buttress, well known to TV viewers for Big Allotment Challenge, was candid and hilariously funny as he told how he dug, mowed and planted to victory of those of a different class who sought to get in his way.
Each story had a punch-line and a point as he strode through a ploughed field of his life happy in his wellies and gardener's overalls.
There were moments of poignancy as he spoke about his late father and wife.
Buttress left us in no doubt life is for living, doing what you enjoy and answering to no one but your conscience.