Ainsley Harriott saves drowning sister after she falls into pond at Chelsea Flower Show

23 May 2022, 17:42

TV Chef Ainsley Harriott at Chelsea Flower Show.
TV Chef Ainsley Harriott at Chelsea Flower Show. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Ainsley Harriott came to the rescue of his sister Jacqueline after she fell into a water feature at Chelsea Flower Show.

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The TV chef thanked people for coming to the aid of his sister, who tripped and fell into the water, according to onlookers.

The 65-year-old said his sister is "doing fine" after the incident, which unfolded on the opening day of the event in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in Chelsea.

Pictures show Jacqueline laying on the ground next to the garden pond feature with passers-by and Ainsley checking on her.

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Concerned guests, including Nick Knowles, attended to Ainsley's sister as she sat down after being pulled from the narrow, open water feature.

She was taken to hospital, with Ainsley later tweeting that "all is well" and she is "doing fine".

He wrote: "Just a big thank you to everyone who helped my sister when she had a fall at the Chelsea Flower Show this morning. She's doing fine and all is well 😊 xx"

The water feature was part of the BBC Studios' Our Green Planet and RHS Bee Garden display, but a RHS volunteer who saw the accident, said they will now have to place barriers around the water due to health and safety concerns.

One guest told The Sun: “The garden was packed with lots of people and I think the woman must have fallen into the pond or tripped over and ended up in the water.

“I think she nearly drowned. She was pulled out by Ainsley Harriott and some other celebrities before they laid her down on the floor. She was coughing up lots of water.”

Matt Peskett, an RHS volunteer told The Telegraph: "There were 30 or 40 celebs out and they were all drinking champagne. And then all of a sudden one of the guests stepped backwards and fell in. They fully fell in, not just a foot."

An RHS spokesman said: “We are investigating an incident that occurred on a garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show today

"The guest was quickly attended to by on site medical professionals and we are pleased to say is now home and well."

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The Chelsea Flower Show is back in its May slot for the first time since 2019, after being cancelled in 2020 and moved to September 2021 due to the pandemic.

Among the show gardens is a recreation of a beaver wetland, complete with a beaver lodge, dam, streams and natural wildflower planting.

The show also features gardens by Meta on plants and fungi in woodland ecosystems, a Notting Hill-set exhibit that features a deforested mangrove sculpture highlighting global deforestation and racial injustice and an ice block highlighting global warming.

The Mind Garden focuses on connecting with other people for mental health and St Mungo's Putting Down Roots garden focuses on a programme to help people recover from homelessness through gardening.

A floral display with the profile of the Queen in Platinum Jubilee purple marks her 70-year reign.

It is covered on both sides with an assortment of native British-grown tree branches with connecting inner shelves arranged with 70 terracotta pots planted with lily of the valley, one of the monarch's favourite plants.

Another installation aims to transport visitors to one of the Queen's favourite places, with a canopy of flowers including fresh delphiniums, emulating the colours and planting of the Scottish landscape near the royal family's Balmoral Castle estate in Aberdeenshire.