Kate Humble didn’t expect to help her prize sow give birth to piglets on national television, but then that’s one of the hazards of allowing a TV crew into your home – when it happens to be a farm.
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It’s this sort of insight into rural life that the presenter, who bought the 117-acre farm in Monmouthshire with her husband Ludo Graham in 2011, was keen to share with viewers, especially during a time when we are all looking for a bit of escapism.
Kate posing next to Sausage
“Everybody felt it was something we could all do with,” says Kate of her new four-part series for Channel 5, Escape to the Farm. “I think it taps into the national consciousness that has emerged during this time, when people have looked to more fundamental and earthy things for comfort.”
In each episode Kate explores the beautiful countryside where she lives, introducing the animals and livestock looked after by her tenant farmer Tim and his wife Sarah, as well as cooking up an array of dishes made with ingredients from her kitchen garden or nearby farms, although “it’s not fancy schmancy”, she warns. “I’m no Nigella Lawson.”
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She also visits trout fishermen and willow weavers, cheese makers and beekeepers, all locals whom she’s come to know over the years.
The presenter has praised her husband for filming the series
“It was lovely to be on our home turf. All the people we filmed are people we know and work with, so it was like we were creating our own bubble, our gang.”
Making it even more personal was the fact that her TV director and producer husband filmed the series.
“I was quite nervous – I think he was too – but without sounding like an overly adoring wife, he is very good at what he does and has been doing it for a very long time.” Helping Sausage the sow, whom Kate describes as “a bit of a Welsh heroine” give birth was one of her highlights.
Kate loves cooking but has said ‘I’m no Nigella Lawson’
“She was absolutely enormous and Tim kept saying: ‘I bet she’s going to have 15 piglets.’ We were on tenterhooks, but usually pigs do it on their own as the piglet is so tiny – the mum does a little fart and out it comes. But her birth turned out to be rather dramatic. I ended up trying to rescue one and the vets had to be called. But it had a very happy ending,” she says – though she refuses to give it away.
Escape to the Farm is on Channel 5, Tuesday 13 October at 9pm.
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