PRESENTERS from ITV’s Good Morning Britain have been immortalised as garden gnomes by a former Daily Echo cartoonist.
Artist Kim Leachman, who lives in Bournemouth’s Holdenhurst Village, was commissioned to create his diminutive figurines as part of a gardening feature on the early morning TV show.
Viewers will be able to see his versions of weathergirl Laura Tobin and presenters Sean Fletcher, Susanna Reid, Ben Shephard and Charlotte Hawkins on the flagship breakfast programme all week.
Kim told the Daily Echo: “They’re trying to get viewers involved in a gardening competition and I think eventual winners will get one of these gnomes.”
However, things have not been running as smoothly as ITV bosses would want. A couple of days ago Kim took a call from one of the show’s producers saying a cameraman had dropped Ben Shephard.
“Apparently Ben Shephard now has a cracked bottom,” joked Kim. “So he’s coming back to me for hospitalisation.”
Kim has produced gnome caricatures of a number of famous people, including Olympic heroes Mo Farah and Usain Bolt, and billionaire businessman Richard Branson.
He even made royal couple Prince William and Kate a two-feet high winged, horned gargoyle as a present, and aims to send it to them to mark baby George’s first birthday.
Garden gnomes first originated in Germany in the 1800s. They were introduced to Britain by the eccentric spiritualist Sir Charles Isham, who in 1847 imported 21 of the terracotta statuettes to his Lamport Hall home in Northamptonshire.
Only one of these 21 originals, a gnome named ‘Lampy’ survives. In 1997 it was reported Lampy was insured for £1million.