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Hormonal pigs and chickens' bottoms: Giles And Sue Live The Good Life

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Sue Perkins Sue Perkins | 14:26 UK time, Monday, 8 November 2010

When the idea of living the Good Life was mooted it felt like a no-brainer.

Spend the summer in dungarees, mooching round the garden, tending brassicas with one hand and a pair of goats with the other? Sounded like paradise, if paradise was a manure-smelling, weed-infested back garden in Metroland.

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We wanted to experience the highs and lows of setting up your own smallholding, whilst capturing a flavour of the well-loved sitcom. I like to think we did Tom and Barbara proud, although the evidence is to the contrary - and despite my best efforts at 'doing a Kendal', it's unlikely my ageing tush will trouble the judges of Rear Of The Year in the same way Felicity's did back in 1981.

There were hard times. There were lessons learnt. It may well be fun to make your own wine, but by god it's the very opposite of fun to drink it. Pigs are great to play with, right up until the point until they hit sexual maturity.

From that moment on they see you less as their owner and more of a potential partner. Let me tell you, the very definition of fear is the sight of a 10-ton Gloucestershire Old Spot giving you the glad eye.

The four chickens kept us on our toes: Kerry (Katona), Katie (Price), Coleen (Nolan) remained in rude heath, but poor Theresa (May) - named because of her tendency to move way over to the right - went down with a terrible dose of anal mites. I was forced to hold her upside down and empty the best part of kilo of chemical dust up her backside. That certainly ruffled her feathers the wrong way.

Sue Perkins and Giles Coren feeding a goat

Giles' learning curve wasn't so much a curve as a resolutely straight line. He came into the project scared of animals and he left scared of animals. On the plus side, we can now make a sort of artisanal, goaty ricotta through a sock - which I thoroughly recommend should you find yourself at home, bored, with a pet Capra Hircus and some spare winter hosiery.

I take from the show very happy memories of long sunlit evenings spent tending the vegetable patch and putting sun-block on the pigs' nostrils and ear-tips; of watching Mary Berry create the perfect Christmas feast and Peter Purves failing to make an advent crown. I hope you'll agree - that's a pretty Good Life.

Sue Perkins stars in Giles And Sue Live The Good Life.

Giles And Sue Live The Good Life starts on BBC Two on Monday, 8 November at 9pm.

For further broadcasts, please see the upcoming episodes page.


  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    really enjoyed the show. Superkins as funny as ever - and obviously loving it. Giles slightly less so on both counts, but warm and wetly willing. Thanks!

  • Comment number 3.

    Dear Sue,
    Are you wearing a wig for this new series? how did you do both houses at the same time, must have been a lot of hard work.

  • Comment number 4.

    Very timely comedy....I hope Richard Briers and Felicity Kendal are watching this..it would bring back amusing memories. I like that it gives an option to the overdone "reality programmes" we are swamped with in the present. Thanks to the production team for reminding us that TV still has it's finger on the pulse......

  • Comment number 5.

    Great show tonight and Sue was just as gorgeous, sexy and funny as always!

  • Comment number 6.

    Fantastic programme - thoroughly enjoyed it. We have this year started our own veg patch and got some chickens - now thinking of getting a goat! love it. xxx

  • Comment number 7.

    Period dress up, percy thrower references and avocado mousse. This has all the trappings of a fantastic show. Sue and Giles are definately the Barbara and Tom, and well picked as there are both opposites in the way the deal with the situations, Sue is gung ho (to a point) and Giles is a big girls blouse which makes the comedic moments which we all loved in the original series come to life again.
    Fantastic TV and pairing, of the presenters, not the goats.

  • Comment number 8.

    Enjoyed the programme - but I used to have British Alpine goats and they would have got over that fence with no trouble! Were the goats taken somewhere else after each day's filming? They would have wreaked chaos on the veg patch and broken into the flimsy chicken enclosure to eat their food!
    Looking forward (as a breeder of pedigree Tamworths) to seeing how they get on with the pigs next week.

  • Comment number 9.

    I really loved the show and laughed heartily throughout. Sue and Giles work so well together. I can't wait until next weeks episode.

  • Comment number 10.

    sue,be careful in your dungarees,and sexy barbara good wig,because the heat generated in 1975 by the original barbara started global warming in britain! all over the country,men were furiously raking their smallholdings!your milking technique alone could punch a hole the ohhhzone!! layer. xxx jim. ps. who is the unshaven bloke watching you do all the work?

  • Comment number 11.

    On the whole a very un-funny program. I will be contacting the RSPCA regarding the mistreatment of the chickens. Chickens do not need to be put to bed they roost as dusk falls. This pair chasing the birds around the enclosure would have stressed and panicked them not the best thing to be showing.

  • Comment number 12.

    Thank you, Sue and Giles for one of the funniest programmes I've seen in a long time. You work so well together and are a joy to watch! Roll on the next episode.

  • Comment number 13.

    Love the show last night, my wife and I now own the goats used in the show Laura and Jet. Hoof prints by request :O) Good fun as always, Sue you are so funny and Giles is great. If you are missing milking Laura let us know! Always welcome to come and see them again. Good luck with the series! Gren & Karen x

  • Comment number 14.

    Excellent arbitrary chicken catching scene and a good effort by Ms Pekins at 'doing a Kendal', though the effect would have been significantly improved with the addition of wellies. And the nose wrinkling thing. Grr!

  • Comment number 15.

    Gah! that should read 'Perkins' of course. Sorry, I've got dodgy 'r's today. A bit like Theresa, I suppose. Speaking of which, shouldn't the chicken shed either be something you cobbled together yourself or got off a bloke down the pub in exchange for the lanwmower: the 1970s equivalent of freecycle?

  • Comment number 16.

    Did anyone else find the scene when Perko was milking the goat directly into her mouth a little alluring?

  • Comment number 17.

    Sorry, this one completely passed me. What was funny? Who was this made for? Throwing books in the soil, deliberately acting the goon was just not amusing. Some things are best left well alone and the original series is one of them. Shame on the BBC for using the licence fee to produce a very second rate programme!

  • Comment number 18.

    we atched the program as people who live the "good life" and found it dull. the plants were obviously plug plants and the goats would have got out very quickly. Very good idea shame it was spoilt by those 2 over acting.Got totally lost when they started playing golf, still this is what passes as fun today on tv thank god for bbc radio. will not watch the rest.

  • Comment number 19.

    We stumbled across your programme last night and found it bizarrely entertaining and even uplifting.
    John Seymour, author of 'The Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency' and many others, was my father. We run a smallholding on part of his old farm in Wales. Try our website www.carninglipress.co.uk , it's full of information about John, his wife Sally and us.
    We'll tune in again next week.

  • Comment number 20.

    Having just watched The Good Life on BBC iplayer, and laughed out loud through most of it, I have to say what a brilliant idea the programme is. Perfect 'casting' - Sue and Giles are a perfect foil for each other. I can't wait for the next episode. I've never got through a pile of ironing so quickly! Well done.

  • Comment number 21.

    Hello... about the Good Life prog on Sunday... its not funny. Its not educational.It doesnt seem to be anything... Is it perhaps meant to be cool? Perhaps thats it! yours... Alan and Gill Bridgewater ... see more about the real Good Life by doing a Google Search on Alan and Gill Bridgewater

  • Comment number 22.

    I agree, it's a lot of nonsense but quite funny in parts. Lots of boring bits when they are just pointlessly larking about, but I was there in the '70s, worked very hard on potatoes and pigs and veg and babies.......milked a cow morning and evening.....made butter and cheese.......hated the hens......still make all our bread.....endless powercuts.....rayburn (who is running it for them?)......even had heavy horses (shires) and carted manure.

    Could have been a much more interesting programme, and probably will not bother to watch it again.

  • Comment number 23.

    Love it, what great intelligent entertainment.
    Haven't laughed so much in ages.

  • Comment number 24.

    I'm with mrsrobbs above, very funny, excellent casting.

  • Comment number 25.

    Rarely have we seen anything as funny as Giles and Sue in The Good Life. My husband and I were literally crying with laughter over their escapades. We have watched Giles and Sue before in their food through the ages series and were equally impressed. They just seem to bounce off each other - verbally speaking, of course ;-) and make a great comedy team. We sincerely hope to be seeing more of them in the future. Great stuff and well done both of you!

  • Comment number 26.

    I loved this series. I wish it could be released on DVD as I think it is brilliant and very funny.


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