Jeremy Clarkson 'done more for farmers than BBC’s Countryfile has in 30 years'
Jeremy Clarkson has been lavished with praise for raising awareness of the hardships and triumphs of farmers.
The 61-year-old TV star created waves this year when he released his reality series Carkson’s Farm on Amazon – which chronicles his attempts to transform his Oxfordshire farm into a profitable business.
Author and farmer James Rebanks has hailed Jeremy as a champion of farming after the reality series offered an insight into the hardships and struggles British farmers face.
While James also took aim at the BBC’s flagship farming show, Countryfile, which he argues gives a superficial look into the world of farming.
James says Jeremy’s show has done more for the farming community with the first season of his Amazon show than the BBC show has over the past 30 years.
Speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival where he was promoting his own book, English Pastoral, James said: “I can report back from within the farming community: they all loved that programme. They loved it.
“Ok, 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.”
GloucestershireLive reports that James then took aim at the BBC series Countryfile – arguing it has failed to give an accurate insight into farming.
He is quoted saying: “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.
“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’.”
James also argued that Jeremy has shone an impressive light on farmers, saying his Amazon show: "makes working-class rural men the heroes".
And he argues that the show doesn’t shy away with how hard it is to make a profit while working in the farming world.
He said: “There’s an episode where he says, ‘I didn’t make any money - what’s everyone else doing?’ And I know what everyone else is doing, which is that they’re working for nothing or going broke.”
Indeed, Jeremy himself commented that his farm had been an 'expensive failure'.
Discussing his trails and tribulations on his farm, Jeremy said he invested in: “many new and exciting money-spinning projects, and then watched in horror as almost all of them ended in expensive failure.”
Countryfile has aired on the BBC since July 1988 and pulls in an average 6 million people each week.
Season one of Clarkson’s Farm became available to stream on Amazon Prime in June this year – and while Amazon doesn’t reveal their viewing figures, the show has been reported as “one of their most popular shows.”
A second season of Clarkson’s Farm was commissioned in July this year and is expected to air next year.