Monty Don’s beloved golden retriever has passed away, but how old was Nigel the dog? Gardeners’ World fans are heartbroken over the news. 

The British TV presenter has long delighted viewers on the hit gardening show along with his four-legged friends, Nigel and Nellie. We all know he loved a good tennis ball or two!

In fact, he was so adored by viewers that he had his own parody Twitter account and there was much concern when he was absent from the show back in 2012. 

This was due to twisting sideways while playing, but he was treated by vets and eventually resumed his pride of place on Gardeners’ World. 

Now, fans are upset to hear that he’s no longer with us. 

Nigel the dog, Gardeners’ World, BBC

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How old was Nigel the dog?

Nigel the dog was 11 years old.

He was born on May 17th 2008, so actually, he wasn’t too far from his twelfth birthday. 

As highlighted by The Happy Puppy Site, the breed of dog – golden retriever – tends to have an average lifespan of 10-12 years. 

Interestingly, they used to live much longer just decades ago, with a previous average life expectancy of roughly 16 to 17 years. When it became apparent that the life expectancy was decreasing so drastically, scientists were undeniably curious. 

Since then, environmental factors, genes, and health conditions have been considered when determining the dip. 

However, with this all in mind, it’s safe to say that Nigel lived a long and happy life. 

Monty Don takes to Instagram

The beloved presented took to Instagram on May 11th 2020 to inform his fans of the tragic news. 

He posted up a picture (see below post) of Nigel in the garden along with the caption: “I am very sorry to announce that Nigel has died. To the end he was happy, healthy and his usual calm, lovely self.”

Continued: “But he was suddenly taken ill and he slipped quietly away with no pain or suffering and is now buried in the garden with lots of tennis balls. Rest now old friend. See you in the sweet bye and bye.”

Many of his followers have commented, offering their sympathies and touching thoughts, with one saying: “RIP Lovely Nigel. What a fabulous life he had and was definitely a star of the show.”

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Gardeners’ World pet: Fans take to Twitter

A number of people have flocked to Twitter to share their sadness in the wake of Nigel’s passing.

One weighed in: “Nigel was loved by millions, think it’s fair to say he was the nation’s favourite dog. Watching Gardeners’ World wasn’t just about watching you in your lovely garden giving us all tips, it was also about seeing Nigel having fun being out in his garden with yourself…”

Similarly, another added: “Oh goodness, my heart goes out to you Monty. Having lost my dog last month I understand the pain you must be going through. Rest well, darling Nigel. What a wonderful dog…”

He will clearly be missed by many.

In other news, when are dentists going to reopen?