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Thursday 31 Jul 2014

Press Releases

Countryfile moves to peak time on BBC One

BBC One's flagship rural affairs show Countryfile is moving to a new teatime slot on Sunday evenings with a dynamic new team of presenters.

Julia Bradbury and Matt Baker will head the new line-up, with John Craven, who has presented the show for the past 20 years, fronting a weekly in-depth look at the big stories making news in the British countryside.

Jay Hunt, Controller, BBC One, said: "I am delighted that Countryfile is moving to its new Sunday evening home, giving an even wider audience the chance to enjoy this wonderful programme. Countryfile has been providing quality coverage of issues affecting the countryside to BBC One viewers for 20 years and I am very excited to see what stories the new team will bring to our screens."

Julia Bradbury is an experienced journalist and has a real affinity with countryside issues. She is already well known to viewers as presenter of BBC's Watchdog, Wainwright's Walks and Kill It, Cook It, Eat It.

Former Blue Peter presenter Matt Baker was brought up on an organic sheep farm in County Durham, so has a grassroots understanding of rural issues. He currently presents BBC Radio 4's Open Country.

John Craven joined Countryfile in 1989 after 17 years on John Craven's Newsround. His new role will capitalise on his journalistic credentials and 20 years' experience of reporting on rural issues.

John said: "I'm thrilled that Countryfile is going from strength to strength. Over the years I've seen it become a great and much-loved institution and now I'm looking forward to working with Matt, Julia and the new team. My new role will give me a fantastic opportunity to probe in-depth issues that really matter to people who love and care about our countryside."

Julia, Matt and John will be supported by a dynamic team of reporters: Adam Henson, James Wong, Jules Hudson and Katie Knapman.

The hour-long programme will continue to come from a different location in the British countryside each week. It will also include the Countryfile forecast for the week ahead.

Countryfile is produced by BBC Productions, Birmingham. The Executive Editor is Andrew Thorman and the Series Producer is Teresa Bogan.

In Countryfile's old Sunday morning slot, Ben Fogle and Ellie Harrison will be presenting a new rural affairs series – Country Tracks will weave archive footage from Countryfile with newly-filmed sequences to create a different journey each week, bringing the past and present together in a celebration of the British countryside.

Notes to Editors


The programme will be making weekly visits to Adam Henson's farm in the Cotswolds to reflect the farming calendar and to get a personal take on the big farming stories of the day.

Adam joined the team in 2001 after Countryfile launched a presenter search among its viewers. He is also a rare breed enthusiast.

James Wong is an ethnobotanist – a scientist who studies how people use plants. He has an MSc in Ethnobotany from the University of Kent and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He is a lecturer at the University of Kent and is designing a new botanical garden for them. His new series, Grow Your Own Drugs, is being shown on BBC Two this month.

Jules Hudson is best known as presenter of Escape To The Country. He is a presenter with a real passion for the past. After a career in field archaeology, he moved into television and began working on a wide range of historical programming, including Channel 4's Time Team and BBC Two's Horizon.

Katie Knapman is a presenter with ten years' experience working on programmes such as Time Team's Big Roman Dig, Tomorrow's World and Holiday. She's a keen hill walker with a life-long association with the Scottish island of Tiree.

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