Charlie garden gnome
If you simply have to have a garden gnome, Charlie Dimmock could hardly object to this. The star of BBC TV's Ground Force has been immortalised in stone in a figure which captures everything from her broad grin to her two most famous assets.
Stonemason Jeff Callaghan, 56, is working around the clock to meet demand for the 2ft Charlie gnome. "I've been making gnomes for 20 years and I've never known so much interest," he said from his work- shop in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire."I showed them to all the local garden centres and they said they will take as many as I can produce. I can't make them fast enough. A lot of people who would not necessarily be interested in gnomes are asking me about them."
(If you feel that life would be complete if only you had a Charlie Dimmock gnome - Jeff calls them "sculptoons", go to the manufacturer's website for further details.) His company makes a full range of garden ornaments including a Russell Crowe gladiator gnome / sculptoon.
Mr. Callaghan had to be careful to ensure Miss Dimmock's carefully moulded figure could stand up to garden frosts. "I had to sit down with the sculptor who worked on the original model and make a few modifications," he said."You have to make sure there aren't too many fiddly bits or they can break off. We had to make sure we got her true to life and we're very pleased with the end result." Charlie won't be too lonely planted in the garden. Mr. Callaghan has also made a gnome of Alan Titchmarsh and Tommy Walsh, co-presenters in the garden makeover series.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd - 2001