Also being an only child, Charlie spent a lot of time with her grandfather helping him in the family vegetable garden.
"He was pleased and rather proud," she recalls, when she graduated from horticultural college instead of the forensic science course she had initially planned. After college Charlie joined Romsey Garden Centre where she worked to save money to travel. She travelled extensively in the early Nineties before returning to Romsey.
She returned to work at Romsey Garden Centre and it was there that she was spotted by TV producer John Thornicroft, who was searching for water plants. In 1992, when he needed someone to do a water feature for a gardening programme Thornicroft thought of Charlie, but it wasn't until early 1997 that he came calling about a possible slot on Ground Force.
The statuesque, bra-less Amazon's role alongside Alan Titchmarsh and Tommy Walsh on the garden make-over show catapulted her into the limelight, making Charlie a household name and the focus of many a male gardener's fantasies overnight. It also led to a series of lucrative spin-offs including a book and a calendar.
Having always been a fan of the great outdoors, the red head began presenting a series called River Walks - in which she visits people and landmarks along the banks of different rivers in Southern England. The show began its third series in January 2008. Her soaring TV career hasn't changed her though, she insists. And the flame-haired gardener's aspirations remain firmly grounded. "To grow old, I guess. Become a dotty old dear and potter around the garden… It's probably easier to achieve than most ambitions."
Charlie has been a firm favourite at GM Promotions Home Gardens & LIFESTYLE Shows first joining us in San Miguel de Salinas, South Costa Blanca in 2012, then again in November 2012 at the Show in Estepona,on the Costa del Sol and we look forward to welcoming her back again at the Calpe Show on the 3rd & 4th April 2014, Charlie will be demonstrating in the Showcase garden along with answering your gardening questions, giving advice and signing autographs.