16 May 2020 08:51

Last night's emotional Gardeners World paid tribute to Monty Don's dog Nigel, who sadly died earlier this week.

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Last night's emotional Gardeners World paid tribute to Monty Don's dog Nigel, who sadly died earlier this week. A poignant package of clips aired during the show saw the beautiful golden retriever scampering through daffodils and 'helping' his human by dropping filthy tennis balls in his freshly planted pots. Taken from previous episodes, each clip proved how strong Monty and Nigel's bond was, as the cheeky pooch's tail wagged like mad whenever he looked at his master. Sobbing viewers were treated to the sight of Nigel prancing through the flowers, tearing through Monty's garden, and patiently waiting for his beloved ball to be thrown by dropping it right where Monty needed to be to talk to the camera. One old clip showed Monty standing by a wheelbarrow piled high with soil.

Gardeners World tribute to Monty Don's dog Nigel has the nation in tears

"Now this is crushed bark with a little addition of tennis ball," Monty explains as he holds up a dirty old ball that has somehow fallen in. "Now tennis ball, of course, is a magical horticultural ingredient... according to Nigel." Another clip saw the gardening expert reach all the way up to his shoulder inside an enormous plant pot, just to fish out Nigel's ball. "Do you want to see what's in there? Look. He's going to put it back in now," he chuckled as Nigel predictably nudged the ball straight back inside. A third clip showed Nigel making grunting noises in order to get one of the delicious treats Monty had in his pocket. "Very quickly grass can compete... what?" Nigel said to his dog. "I'm talking to the nation. Now go away, go on." The final scene of the tribute showed Monty opening a garden gate for Nigel to trot through, his huge tail wagging furiously. (Image: Instagram) "Come on, Nige. Good boy. Good boy," Monty tells his beautiful pet. Gardeners World tweeted the video last night, with the caption: "Farewell Nigel. We shall miss you so much x x." And emotional viewers found it hard not to be moved by Nigel's passing. "God that must have been difficult for Monty. So sad," wrote one, to which another replied: "It broke me." Another tweeted: "That was such a wonderful tribute to #nigel on #GardenersWorld Seeing the young and old Nigel and his true love of his tennis balls (loved the pot scene)." (Image: GWandShows/Twitter) And a third wrote: "Seeing him walk away with Monty at the end going for a walk, as if he was walking away from us! Sleep well dear Nigel, you will be missed." Monty had shared the sad news of Nigel's death earlier this week. "I am very sorry to announce that Nigel has died," the broadcaster tweeted. "He slipped quietly away with no pain or suffering and is now buried in the garden with lots of tennis balls. Rest now old friend. See you in the sweet bye and bye." (Image: GWandShows/Twitter) (Image: GWandShows/Twitter) Nigel was well known to fans thanks to his appearances on the BBC Two gardening programme, where he was often seen with Monty's other dog Nellie. Viewers had become concerned when Nigel hadn't been seen on camera back in 2012, but it was later revealed the dog had injured himself twisting sideways as he jumped to catch a tennis ball. Nigel also underwent surgery last year to remove growths in his mouth.