COUNTRYFILE has been ripped to shreds by ‘p***ed off farmers’ – as Jeremy Clarkson is praised for ‘doing more for farming in a year’.
The Grand Tour star’s agricultural series, Clarkson’s Farm, debuted on Amazon Prime Video earlier this year, and follow’s Jeremy’s attempts to run his Diddly Squat farm himself.
The eight part series documents the highs and lows of farming and the precarious nature of the job, and now author and farmer James Rebanks has praised the show for doing more for farming in one year than the BBC’s Countryfile has in 30.
Discussing Clarkson’s Farm at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, James began: “I can report back from within the farming community. They all loved that programme. They loved it.
“Okay, he’s clowning around, and he plays to that audience, and a lot of farmers are lads that like machines and they would have watched Top Gear and all the rest of it.”
He continued: “But what they really liked is [that] they have been frankly p****d off with Countryfile for about 30 years because the whole logic of Countryfile is that you can’t make a mainstream, prime-time TV programme about farming because farming is for a niche group of idiots.”
James said that while there are “silly bits” in the show, Jeremy still manages to highlight the economics of farming.
He said: “And what Clarkson has come along and done is gone, ‘Actually, no, everybody will watch a programme about farming, you just need to do it in a certain way.’
“What they really like is he got people to spend 10-15 minutes of a programme thinking about farm economics and how tough it is.
“There were silly bits… but in the farming community they are just delighted that someone high profile would stick up for them or have any kind of genuine empathy.”
During the first series, Jeremy is seen buying a ridiculously large tractor, and failing to farm his fields correctly, while also highlighting the costs of rearing sheep and how environmental factors and weather can effect his crops and income.
James concluded: “The other nice bit of the programme is, he sends himself up and in a funny way makes the working-class rural men the heroes of the programmes, and that goes down very well in our community.”
Clarkson’s Farm is available on Amazon Prime Video, while Countryfile airs Sundays on BBC One.
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