Radio Norfolk’s Thordis hoping to bloom in new role

It is sometimes unfairly stereotyped as a hobby for older people, but now a young Sprowston woman is helping to show that gardening is for all ages by becoming the new presenter of a radio programme.

Thordis Fridriksson has taken over at the helm of BBC Radio Norfolk's The Garden Party and says she hopes her enthusiasm for horticulture will come across to listeners.

Miss Fridriksson, who turns 26 this week and describes herself as '50pc Icelandic and 50pc Norfolk dumpling', said: 'I'm thrilled to be taking over as I really love gardening. I've always been interested in nature and wildlife but it was when a neighbour took a hedge down and replaced it with a fence that I decided I wanted to grow something to cover it up and it has gone from there.

'I'm still quite new to it, so I still manage to get lots of things wrong and plant things in the wrong places, but I've been learning a lot from the experts on the show.'

The former Norwich High School for Girls pupil got into radio through volunteering at the city's community radio station Future Radio, and that helped her to gain some work experience at the BBC.

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Miss Fridriksson, who lives in Sprowston with her parents and says they have a 'normal-sized suburban garden', said: 'My first job was answering the phones for The Garden Party and I've spent a year listening to them talking about gardening.

'We start the show with a brief chat to our experts about what they have been up to in their garden and what their favourite plants are, but the real heart of the show is all the listeners' questions. They email in pictures or send them in by post and we've even had little samples of leaves sent to us before. I remember opening one and a maggot wriggled out.'

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Miss Fridriksson's day job is as a producer on the Stephen Bumfrey show and listeners may know her by her nickname 'Thunderfairy' – a play on her first name Thordis, where Thor relates to thunder and dis to type of spirit or fairy.

The Garden Party is on BBC Radio Norfolk from midday to 2pm on Saturdays.

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