Tuesday 24 April 2018

Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace to have 'a bit of a festival vibe'

Countryfile Live will take place at Blenheim Palace on August 4-7 (BBC/PA Wire)
Countryfile Live will take place at Blenheim Palace on August 4-7 (BBC/PA Wire)

The first Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire will have "a bit of a festival vibe", Matt Baker has said.

The outdoor event, sparked by the huge popularity of BBC One's rural magazine series, will take place from August 4 - August 7 and combine stars from the hit show with the tradition of county fairs.

Countryfile presenters Baker (who also hosts BBC One's The One Show), John Craven, Adam Henson, Anita Rani, Ellie Harrison and Tom Heap will all be in attendance.

Talking about Countryfile Live, Baker said: "We're opening up Countryfile to the general public and allowing a hands-on experience for all those who watch and love the programme.

"We hope people will come along and have fun with all the family. It's a full-on live experience with a bit of a festival vibe."

More than 500 exhibitors have signed up for the four-day festivity.

The heart of Countryfile Live, which is being staged in association with the National Trust, will be a live show in the 4,000-capacity Countryfile Live main arena.

It will showcase the best rural Britain has to offer, with a particular focus on farming.

Adam Henson will take his farm to Blenheim Palace and give the public a chance to meet some rare breeds and farm livestock.

The Gloucestershire farmer said: "Countryfile Live is for everyone so if you're used to going to country and agricultural shows, you'll get all the things you'd expect from those, plus a few extras.

"And if you're not from the country and you've never held a chick or a lamb, now's your chance."

The National Trust theatre will play host to a thought-provoking programme of debates, talks and panels, all focused on countryside issues.

Veteran broadcaster John Craven, 75, said: "I've been involved in the show for a quarter of a century, and we've never done anything like this before."

He added: "You can meet the presenters, see hundreds of stalls, and have a go at lots of things. It'll be a country show like no other."

Countryfile Live will also have a village green, complete with bandstand and traditional maypole, which will sit alongside family entertainment such as tug-of-war, Morris dancing, Punch and Judy, village cricket, a vintage funfair and a village fete.

Anita Rani said: "Anything that is to do with the country will be celebrated in the glorious shadow of beautiful Blenheim Palace."

Ellie Harrison added: "We wanted to create something that complements the programme so we will represent all sorts of sides of country life, but with a modern festival twist."

Sunday stalwart Countryfile has become one of the most-watched programmes on television.

Earlier this year it drew its highest overnight rating, with an average of 8.7 million viewers affirming the public's appetite for all things rural.

Tom Heap said: "We want to create a physical incarnation of the show and something where people can feel, smell, touch and taste the range of things that the country has to offer.

"We hope everyone will enjoy Countryfile Live."

:: Visit www.countryfilelive.com for Countryfile Live tickets and information.

Press Association

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