An interview with Matt Baker and John Craven from BBC's Countryfile

The Countryfile presenters took time from their busy schedule to tell us about their day

By Louise Perrin
Thursday, 15th August 2019, 2:46 pm
Matt Baker and John Craven
Matt Baker and John Craven

What do Matt and John think of Countryfile Live at Castle Howard? "It's great to bring the whole TV series to life." said Matt, "Apparently this is the biggest event that Castle Howard has hosted here."

It's not the first time Matt has been to Castle Howard, "I've been a few times as a child, my grandparents were living in Hull. Growing up we used to travel from Hull to Durham all the time, Castle Howard was one of the places we would stop at. It's lovely to be back again."

"It's a magnificent show." said Matt, "It's great to be given the opportunity to bring the show North where a lot of our viewers are based, we're very excited about it."

Both John and Matt are former children's television presenters: "It's a huge leap from children's television," said John. "I spent 17 years in a small news studio presenting a live show, to suddenly find yourself in the middle of nowhere on a recorded show like Countryfile, it's totally different."

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    Matt, a former Blue Peter presenter nodded "It's a different audience, but since the show made the transition to an evening programme, it's become more of a family lifestyle kind of show."

    Matt is clearly proud of the Countryfile Live set up "It's very experiential," he said: "The whole point is families can come here and sample some of the stuff we do week to week on the programme. It's magical for me to see families trying things here for the first time together."

    "Everybody we've spoken to loves the show. You do worry sometimes, when you're a TV show, what kind of reaction you're going to get." said John: "But I can honestly say it's been 100% positive."

    "Countryfile, when you film it, is a very intimate experience, it's normally just us in a field, you don't get a sense when you make the programme that you are talking to millions and millions of people," said Matt. "It's great to come somewhere like this and talk to people and find out what they like and stories that really worked for them."

    "People remember things that you've totally forgotten," said John: "That shows the relationship between the viewer and the programme."

    "We want to be the beginning of the story," said Matt: "We want to say look at this amazing world that's out there, and for people to then go and experience it."

    John completed the conversation "We believe that by us having a go it shows just how difficult some of these country crafts can be, if I make a botch of it, it shows just how good the people who do it really are."