Here at Yours, we love to watch programmes like Countryfile and we can’t get enough of seeing all the hidden gems in the UK’s stunning countryside. One woman who is very familiar with the natural beauty of the countryside is the lovely Kate Humble.
Kate didn’t plan to be a TV presenter. "By the time I was 27, I had been working in television for eight years, working my way up to be a researcher. Then in between jobs, and worrying about paying my rent, I got a call from BBC’s Holiday Programme to work there.
"After just a day I was called into the office of the show’s big boss. I thought I was going to get the sack, but instead she offered me a screen test! Within three weeks I was filming in France. That was the start of my presenting career. But I do remember the boss saying to me ‘Can you please do something about your hair?’ Nothing has changed!"
Escape to the farm
Kate’s own passion for nature prompted her to move from London to rural Monmouthshire in 2007 with her film-maker husband Ludo Graham.
After featuring on shows including Animal Park, Springwatch and Autumnwatch, Lambing Live and Countryfile, Kate knows a thing or two about enjoying what the great British countryside has to offer. Not only that, but she was previously President of the RSPB too, promoting the beauty of British wildlife and nature as well as its scenery.
Kate's passion for animals started young "A neighbour gave me a small, scruffy little kitten and she grew into a very much adored tabby cat who was my constant companion. Growing up, we lived next to a farm so I also vicariously had horses and dogs and all the farm animals in my life. When I wasn’t at school I spent all my time there."
Now, Kate and her husband run a 117-acre working farm with a herd of Welsh mountain ewes, a flock of chickens, geese and pigs!
They also have two dogs, Bella and Teg. Sadly in March last year they lost Badger, Kate's first dog.
"For me, part of the joy of having dogs is that they need walks every day. It’s a lovely way of getting my head in order before the chaos of the day.
"I’ve been walking all my life. I grew up in the countryside at a time when there wasn’t much else to do; we didn’t have computers or round the clock television. I didn’t think of it as walking as such, we just went out as a family for walks or I was always mucking about outside."
One of Kate's recent series, Escape to the Farm, allowed us a glimpse into family life, following their day-to-day exploits on the farm.
"I wake up every morning to the most amazing view from my house which gives me huge joy every single morning. We can step outside our door and listen to the birds and be with dogs and animals and I’ve always really appreciated where I live, but my goodness, I really, really appreciate it now!"
For the past ten years, Kate has been aiming for a self-sufficient farm life, growing produce and breeding livestock.
Escape to the Farm also led Kate to hear latest passion - cookery, as she'd make a recipe on each show. "I love the process of cooking – I find it creative and therapeutic. It led to me writing a cookery book out this month featuring seasonal food I cook all the time. Some of the recipes are my mum’s and some from friends and I’ve dedicated the book to them."
Kate Humble's husband and family
The broadcaster and writer has never been busier after filming several shows for Channel 5, including her recent walking show, Kate Humble’s Coastal Britain.
Kate's husband Ludo filmed her for much of this programme, since it was created during lockdown. Talking about what it was like to work alongside her partner, Kate says: “It was interesting working together, because although we’re in the same business, we don’t tend to do it. I really enjoyed it though. But it did mean that, inevitably, quite a lot of conversations in the evening were about work!”
She feels they have grown much closer since abandoning London for the country. “People ask what the key to a successful relationship is. I think it’s always giving each other space,” adding that ‘occasional solitary walks’ help maintain their rhythm.
Kate admits that she didn't really know Wales very well before moving there. "I had spent the odd weekend here and gone for walks in the Brecon Beacons and stuff, but I didn't really know it very well. But there was just something about it!
"If you look at A to Z of Great Britain, and you look around the southeast, it's is just a big scramble of colour. And it's all roads and villages and towns and, and then if you look at Wales, it's basically brown and green. And it's got lovely names like Abergaveny, and, you know, mountain ranges, and I just kept looking at that path of the map of Great Britain going, I want to be there. That's where I want to be and then the oddest coincidence happened which was my husband was offered a job by the BBC just for a year based in Cardiff. I said just take it."
Kate Humble's Country Life for Half the Price
We’ve really enjoyed Kate's most recent TV series that's all about a subject very close to her heart.Kate Humble’s Country Life for Half The Price follows families embarking on a similar journey to hers by moving away from the city to start a new life in the countryside.
"Each episode we follow one family, who for all sorts of different reasons, have had long held dreams of having a better quality of life. We meet lots of people wanting more space and for their kids to grow up in an environment away from the city.
"The families we follow are all very different. One family, the Goldbys, were living in a perfectly nice four-bedroom, one-bathroom house in Epsom in Surrey. Their issue is that they have nine children and they were home-schooling all of them. So obviously they were looking for a bit more space, but also they wanted to be able to teach their kids more about where food comes from and produce more food themselves.
"Our show is far more than just another property show, it’s about celebrating dreams and making them happen. Our families are far from being privileged people who can just write a cheque for a new property with barely a second thought. They’re normal people who often join forces with other family members in order to make the dream happen.”
You can catch up on Kate Humble’s Country Life for Half The Price on My5 here.