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Stratford celebrity faces court date for voyeurism

A celebrity TV gardening expert from Stratford is set to appear in court after being charged with a number of voyeurism offences.

Steve Brookes, 55, who until earlier this year was chairman of Stratford In Bloom, was charged by police on Monday and ordered to appear at Leamington Magistrates Court in January.

This week the Herald exclusively broke the news that Mr Brookes, of Loxley Road, faces seven counts of observing a person doing a private act following reports of incidents between November 2015 and September 2016.

A father and grandfather, Mr Brookes, has spent many years working for the BBC, Central TV and Channel 4 on various gardening programs, and is well known around Stratford.

He has broadcast live from the Chelsea Flower Show and BBC Gardener’s World Live events for a number of years and regularly writes for several national gardening magazines.

Known for his enthusiastic approach and subtle humour, Mr Brookes became popular with audiences and his in-depth knowledge endeared him to many gardeners.

In the 1990s he became well known as ‘Mr Rotavator’, presenting educational programs on Channel 4 and visiting schools to encourage children to take up an interest in gardening.

In 2000 Mr Brookes won a coveted Royal Television Society Award for his Channel 4 series Growing Plants and has also picked up a Garden Writers Guild Award for his popular garden show on BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire.

He is an active charity supporter, contributing to organisations such as Heart of England Mencap, premature baby charity Bliss.

He also co-runs Blooming Marvelous Events, the company responsible for the Stratford Christmas Fayre and the Stratford Home and Garden Show.

Before stepping down as chairman of Stratford In Bloom in the Autumn, Mr Brookes sought to revamp the town’s flower displays following two years in which the town had not entered the national competition.

However Stratford was once again forced to pull out of the competition this year, with Stratford In Bloom criticising Stratford District Council for a lack of support in maintaining the town’s displays.

Mr Brookes is a firm fixture at major gardening events, presenting his ‘The Greatest Gardening Tips in the World’ stage show, and frequently travels the world as a celebrity lecturer on cruise ships.

He is a successful author, publishing the UK bestseller ‘The Greatest Gardening Tips in the World’ in 2004, and is a former columnist for Focus magazine.

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