Michelle Stacey, star of the BBC’s The Big Allotment Challenge has died, age 48, after a long battle with cancer.
Michelle won the hearts of the UK gardening community when she appeared on the BBC series The Big Allotment Challenge in 2013. Although Michelle didn’t win the programme, her flamboyant dress sense and long finger nails won her the affection of the gardening community. Speaking at the time she said:
“Oh, I’d start a Jim Buttress fan club. He has a way about him you just can’t help loving. There’s an attraction there that most women will get. He has the highest accolades in horticulture but he’s never condescending.”
After the series she wrote for seed company Thompson & Morgan about her gardening adventures but ill health meant that she had to give up her allotment and the shed which she loved so much.
Appearing on The Big Allotment Challenge was not her first experience of being on television. A few years earlier she starred in Allotment Wars (BBC) in which she introduced us to her lovely shed. Over the course of a few weeks Michelle discovered that someone had been braking into her shed, but not to steal anything, just for a sleep, cuppa tea and even make themselves breakfast on her little camp stove.
“The intruder – a man judging by the size of his footprint – makes himself a cup of tea, lights a scented candle and lays back on the sofa, before washing up.”
It was during her time on The Big Allotment Challenge that I had the great pleasure of meeting Michelle on her allotment and filming inside the now famous shed. On-and-off camera Michelle was a real bundle of joy, she lit up the room and was a real tonic to be around. She welcomed me into her colourful shed with plenty of tea, cakes and laughs. She was a caring person who was happy to share her wisdom of life and helped me deal with a personal issue I was dealing with at the time. Whenever we met up at gardening shows she was the first to wrap her arms around you followed by her beaming smile.
To her husband, children and sister, Michelle was a wonderful woman with a warm heart and caring soul. She will never be forgotten x
Michelle ran a facebook page, Cup Cake Shed https://www.facebook.com/cupcakeshed/