If I ever needed confirmation that hard work pays off, last week I was informed that my television show "Down On The Farm", which I co-host with presenter Storm Huntley and is produced by BBC Scotland for CBeebies, has been nominated in the Best Children's Programme category for a Scottish BAFTA award. Words cannot express the elation I felt when I heard the news, especially as it's been the best part of a three year process to arrive at this moment. What began as an exploratory conversation in a small coffee shop in Central London, has built slowly from a pilot episode we hoped would be commissioned, into what is now an extremely well received, quarterly series on CBeebies. I am so proud to have played a small part in developing the show, which helps children understand and explore the outdoor world of farming and the countryside. We have worked with farms and individuals all over the country, harvesting peas, producing honey, discovering how flour is made and even growing vegetables in the school playground.
Over the last few years, I've been extremely vocal about my love of the farm and how much it has transformed the quality of my family's lifestyle. I'm so glad that a show like "Down On The Farm" is able to bring that same value to every child that tunes in across the nation. I sit and watch in awe, as my son, Ace, is equally mesmerised by the processes taking place on screen - blissfully unaware, I might add, that he was one of the main reasons for my decision to present the show. There really isn't a much better catalyst for teaching children than the medium of the farm and it's so humbling to see what I've cheekily dubbed the "Junior Countryfile", receive the accolades it has in such a short space of time.
The production team at BBC Scotland have been incredible. From the directors to the runners to the series' producers, and my co-host, Storm, each individual has really helped to create a masterful concept that stresses the importance of the outdoors and farming to our environment and shows how the farm contributes to the fabric of the countryside and to urban communities. As ambassador for the Mayor's Fund for London, this is something I am particularly keen to reiterate and I am so proud that "Down On The Farm" is leading the way for such an important but often underrated industry.
A huge thanks must of course go to BAFTA too - for the nomination primarily - but I am also so proud to see that, whether we win the category or not, they are rewarding the hard work that has gone into the development of the show. It goes without saying that I'm hoping for a win on November 6th! However, failing that, you can see how incredible the show really is for yourselves and your children, as the Autumn series of "Down On The Farm" begins on Friday November 4th, 5pm on CBeebies.