Tim Hubbard

Tim Hubbard

Biography

Having grown up in Leicestershire and graduated in Drama and English from the universities of Hull and Exeter, Tim taught both subjects in Cornwall before joining the team launching BBC Radio Cornwall in 1983.  He became a journalist, producer, editor and also a popular presenter there for many years, winning several major national accolades including two Sony/Radio Academy Gold Awards. He also presented programmes for, and contributed to, all five BBC national radio networks, especially for BBC Radios Two and Four and also hosted news and presented features on television for BBC One network and BBC One South West. Tim went on to coach journalism and presentation skills for the BBC across the UK and in Europe and for some years was an Associate Lecturer in Journalism and Media at Falmouth University.

His freelance career has encompassed corporate presentations, voice overs and media training, working throughout the UK as well as in the USA and Europe.  He hosts author/audience events at Cheltenham, Stratford Upon Avon and other major literary festivals and has interviewed hundreds of novelists including John le Carre, PD James and Alexander McCall-Smith, as well as non-fiction writers such as chef Jamie Oliver, actor Dame Sheila Hancock and broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan.

Specialising in travel, lifestyle and gardening, Tim writes features and articles for national newspapers and magazines including ‘RHS The Garden’, ‘Country Living’ and ‘BBC Countryfile’ and has also written three books; ‘A Year in Cornwall with Tim Hubbard’ (2000), ’The Great Gardens of Cornwall: the People and their Plants’ (2017) and ‘Secret Gardens of Cornwall’ (2023). He brokered a unique partnership between the Royal Horticultural Society and the BBC to create a show garden at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show built by BBC gardening presenters themselves. In connection with his books Tim has also hosted bespoke garden tours of Cornwall and, with the BBC and Holland America, in Canada and the USA.

With his architect husband Nick Purchase, Tim lives in the far south west of Cornwall, in a house with its garden on the edge of the cliff overlooking Mounts Bay and out to the Atlantic. A keen gardener himself, in his own garden he grows “anything which can survive the storms”. 

“Tim’s empathy with his interviewees is obvious but he’s relentless in pursuing their – sometimes difficult – stories. We loved the pacing; his skilfully placed questions and intellectual rigour.”

Radio Academy/Sony Gold Award judges
1998 and 1999

“…with great rapport and some unusual and interesting guests, Tim obviously knows Cornwall like the back of his hand.”

The Times
review of ‘Golowan’ – BBC Radio Two Arts Programme

“Tim is one of the best in the business. Always well prepared and researched, he puts interviewees at ease, leads the audience through a fascinating and incisive event, and instills a sense of trust because everyone knows they are in good hands.”

Annie Ashworth
Director, Stratford Upon Avon Literary Festival.

“We had a wonderful time; Tim showed us a Cornwall we’d never have seen and introduced us to people we’d never have met. We couldn’t have enjoyed it more.”

Leonora Buffery
Visitor from the USA

Cover picture: copyright – Rob Whitworth.

Books

A Year In Cornwall

Published by Truran in 2000

Month by month, Tim’s book follows the Cornish year and takes its reader to events, festivals and locations from Land’s End to the Tamar. With wit, humour and a wry smile, Tim explains the perils of being asked to judge the baking competition when he opens a local fete, the challenges of walking the coastal path and the joy of being in Padstow on May Day. Sue Lewington’s evocative line drawings capture the spirit of place perfectly – from Mousehole’s Christmas lights to Helston’s famous Flora Day.

“A testimony to Tim’s great love for the county in which he lives; the friendly, amusing style is a joy.”

North Cornwall Advertiser

“A year’s slice of Cornish life from BBC Radio Cornwall presenter Tim Hubbard. Month by month he shares his family life, official functions and philosophy in an entertaining way, all written with warmth and affection.”

West Briton

The Great Gardens of Cornwall: The People and Their Plants

Published by Tormark in 2017

The Great Gardens is a group of the very best major gardens and estates open to the public in Cornwall. When its members marked their 25th anniversary Tim was asked to write about the plants and history of each garden, as well as the people (owners, Head Gardeners and others) who’d contributed to them over the years. The book also pays tribute to the work done to establish Cornish gardens as an important element within Cornwall’s visitor economy.

“It’s always an honour to visit The Great Gardens of Cornwall. They are a treasure trove of exceptional plants…and a monument to the vision of the landowners who created them.”

Matt Biggs

“This was a great read; I learned so much about the gardens which have been on my doorstep all my life.”

Jenny Houghton

Secret Gardens of Cornwall

Published by Quarto in 2023
With breathtaking photographs by Rob and Jo Whitworth, Tim takes us on private tours of twenty of the county’s lesser known gardens. Some are secret because they’re hidden behind high walls or in remote locations and some are simply little known. Tim reveals gardens where plants survive in tiny crevices on granite cliffs, tracks down sophisticated Italian riviera planting schemes, and swelters in lush sub-tropical jungles. He admires immaculate Edwardian walled vegetable plots; open prairie planting and historic woodland and even goes to gardens where the wellbeing of the gardeners is as important as that of the plants they tend.

“What a beautiful book. I just want to rush off and see all the gardens that I haven’t seen already.”

Rick Stein

“Tim Hubbard has written an absolutely brilliant guide, nay love-letter, to twenty fabulous gardens.”

Sir Tim Smit

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