London - Rum goings-on behind the Berryfields potting shed have been blamed for a vile rumour about Monty Don's golden retriever Nigel.
Absent for several weeks during an outbreak of Badger's Disease on local allotments the five year-old pooch's sudden comeback has been slammed as a 'smoke 'n' mirrors' deception 'just like Blue Peter's Petra incident'.
The German Shepherd bitch star of the 1960s children's show died just daze after her TV debut and was hastily replaced by a 'cheap lookalike'... which just happened to be the male of the species.
Nobody noticed until 1994 when former show presenter Valerie Singleton spilled the beans to shocked Children In Weed audiences.
This weekend conspiracy nutz fear that shaggy mutt Nigel's Gardeners World cameo role 'is some sort of third-rate doppelganger', shoehorned into the series after a mystery bug 'did for' Monty Don's splendid pooch Nigel.
Angry viewers are said to be extremely peeved at the alleged deception brought in by Beeb producers to whitewash over something quite sinister.
"Reckon 'Old Nige' fell head first into Monty's hush-hush organic composting slurry pit," Pratts Bottom gardening enthusiast Roger Otter tweeted today, "and tragically drowned."
A replacement dog was then brought in by Beeb producers keen to avert yet another scandal in the national headlines.
Tonight's Gardeners World edition goes out at the earlier time of 8pm.