Matthew Jenkin talks to Charlie Dimmock about her acting debut and performing nude in Calendar Girls.

IF THERE is one thing Charlie Dimmock would love to forget, then it’s the media attention given to her ample assets on the hit BBC gardening show Ground Force.

Famed for pottering around people’s backyards without a bra, the gardener became a household name and a sex symbol for green-fingered middle-aged men across the country.

Now, five years after the show ended, Charlie is flaunting her supple body once again and baring her buns in the stage production of Calendar Girls, visiting The Churchill in Bromley on June 21.

The part of the curvaceous Celia is the garden guru’s stage debut and the 43-year-old admits stripping off was terrifying at first.

She said: “Me being naked with the other girls was quite horrifying because they are all proper actors and I’m not.

“It was simply a case of, ‘Here’s a glass of Champagne, can you take all your clothes off now?’ “It would be a fib to say I wasn’t expecting it because we all know what the show is and we all know what happens.

“But it is so well choreographed, the audience doesn’t see anything.”

Charlie says as time has gone on, a strong bond between all the actors, who include Gemma Craven, Sue Holderness and Letitia Dean, has developed.

“There is this camaraderie between us all because we are all there with not a lot on and we are like a team.

“However, I do find myself thinking, ‘Oh my God, I am sat here with these amazing actors,’ and I have to pinch myself.”

The play, adapted by Tim Firth, follows the story of the women from the Rylstone and District WI who disrobed and posed for a racy calendar in aid of charity.

Their real-life story made headlines and inspired a movie starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters.

Charlie has been known to grab a few headlines too, getting TV viewers hot under the collar by gardening without support.

“It was all very stupid but you just go with it,” she laughs.

“I was never considered sexy before and I don’t see how just being on TV made me more attractive.

“It was a long time ago but I have to say I think the reason the producer David Pugh approached me was because of that image of me.

“I would be stupid to think he approached me because he thought I might be a fantastic actor.”

The initial media storm surrounding Charlie’s darling buds may have been unwanted, but Calendar Girls is unlikely to help draw the attention away.

Calendar Girls. The Churchill, High Street, Bromley. June 21 to June 26. 08448 717 620 or visit