Countryfile real time agricultural escapism or city-slicker sell out?

Countryfile real time agricultural escapism or city-slicker sell out?

BBC Countryfile presenters Adam Henson, John Craven, Charlotte Smith, Tom Heap, Anita Rani, Matt Baker and Ellie Harrison. Photograph Justin

As fans descend on Blenheim Palace for the annual roadshow – and with barely a tractor around the corner – it really is reasonable to inquire of if the TV hit has lost its origins. But presenters John Craven and Anita Rani argue that its evolution reflects changes in Britain in particular

T he organisers of Countryfile Live knew they certainly were channeling forces that are strong they started their festival in W dstock. Admittedly it’s W dstock, Oxfordshire, not Ny. Therefore the extravaganza into the grounds of Blenheim Palace is celebrating rural life, perhaps not counterculture. But there’s a vibe at Countryfile Live alright, and it can’t be entirely down to the cider.

For four days a week ago, tens and thousands of punters rocked as much as the function and I also was one of them. I watched young ones stroke piglets and pensioners get a workout with Nordic poles that are walking. We ate an artisanal little bit of bread pudding, wondered the way I could easily get to the VIP area sponsored by Quilter Cheviot Investment Management and learned about the various kinds of sheep in British farms. I acquired wet in a downpour then baked in the sunlight about ten minutes later on.

We went along to Countryfile real time to see it takes its name is so popular if I could understand why the programme from which. Frequently drawing 7 million watchers in its Sunday evening slot on BBC1, Countryfile can be as near as we get to a communal watching experience nowadays. Without any less than seven hosts, it covers agricultural dilemmas, but in addition those of conservation and access. It could profile an agriculture co-operative or perform a function on bovine tuberculosis, or send someone hunting simply for bats.

Adam Henson, John Craven, Charlotte Smith, Tom Heap, Anita Rani, Matt Baker and Ellie Harrison

“I think there are many reasons why Countryfile can be so popular,” says John Craven. Now into his 50th year on BBC1 and their 28th as a Countryfile presenter, Craven can be as self-deprecating and avuncular face-to-face as you’d imagine. “A great deal of individuals dream of located in the countryside despite the fact that they inhabit towns and cities. A lot of us are merely a few generations away from being country people anyhow. I do believe it shows just how much we as a nation love and respect our countryside, there is this tie that is emotional it. In addition to the fact it’s a relaxing that is nice on a Sunday night!”

When Craven began in the show in 1989 it in fact was a brand replacement that is new The Farming Programme, an easy compendium of agricultural news that included updated fatstock rates. Today, Countryfile is a very beast that is different. You can find, Craven admits, a “lot of dogs” on the programme and, reading between the lines, it would appear that he’s familiar with needing to protect the show against accusations that is more helpful hints has sold out the farming community.

“I think farmers resented us a bit that is little first,” Craven says. “ Here had been this upstart programme that has been overpowering from their show. But no industry has its show that is own in country. That which we do now could be placed farming into viewpoint, a proper viewpoint. I think the farmers are fortunate to possess us on at top time to show the concerns they will have for different things and how they’re doing their best with traceability, accountability, welfare standards. We reflect all of that in the programme. And additionally let’s keep in mind that tourism is hugely vital that you the economy that is rural more important than farming.”

Therein lies one thing of the sc rub. At half that is least of Countryfile’s audiences reside in towns and cities. The programme has become more obviously aimed at an urban demographic since it moved in 2009 from its original Sunday morning slot to peak-time evening viewing. Issues of concern to farmers and those whom earn an income in rural areas continue to be covered, however they are less prominent than the features which either introduce areas of the British countryside to a new market or simply show it off. Additionally gets the week’s most-watched weather forecast.