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  1. ITV Report

Thornaby man finally able to grow bananas thanks to heatwave

Mr Khan with his banana tree Photo: GAZETTE MEDIA

A man from Thornaby says he's "over the moon" after the recent heatwave helped him to grow bananas.

Sher Khan, 75, and his wife Rozia, 69, have waited 18 years to see fruits finally bloom on their tree.

The banana tree in the Khan family's garden Credit: GAZETTE MEDIA

The couple said the bananas started to sprout around two months ago.

“We were really pleased, we were happy – over the moon,” said Mr Khan. “It reminded me of back home in Kenya.”

The tree has survived numerous harsh winters and periods of heavy rainfall but never actually produced fruit leaving Mr Khan “quite surprised.”

“We are really proud,” he added.

Mr Khan first acquired the tree when it was just a sapling.

“We got the tree given by a friend – our next door neighbour,” he said.

“It was about five inches tall.”

Mr and Mrs Khan Credit: GAZETTE MEDIA

Mr Khan first moved to the UK in 1965 and says he has never seen bananas grow outside in Britain before.

Around 20 have appeared and he’s planning a celebration when they ripen.

He says the reason the tree has survived this long is because he feeds it with water and eggshells and covers it in the winter to prevent it from freezing.