You may have heard that, after nine years, I will be leaving The One Show this spring. It seems like yesterday that I agreed to present it – and the Countryfile schedule was changed so that I could do both.
I would dash away from The One Show’s green sofa on Thursday evening and travel during the night in order to arrive at our Countryfile location ready for first light. I’d usually get a train or motorbike to the airport to catch the last flight to somewhere, or drive to where I needed to be. Those journeys are not something I will miss. My Countryfile films would then all be made in one busy day at the end of what was already a very busy week of live broadcasts. Most people just see the finished programme on their screens and think it’s a relaxing and pleasurable experience to shoot, but so much goes on behind the scenes to make each film happen – production, research, travel, voiceover and so on – that it demands an enormous amount of time.
More by Matt Baker:
- Matt Baker: How technology can help to engage children with nature
- Matt Baker: How the British countryside inspires amazing art
- Matt Baker: Curating an orchard for the future
When I first took on both shows, I didn’t know whether it would work, and it was only supposed to be for a few months to see if it was doable – but nine years on I was still going! There’s no doubt that leaving The One Show will have a massive impact on my working week. Hopefully I will now be able to focus more of my attention on Countryfile and spend more time making those films. Countryfile has always been a huge passion of mine and I must admit that I’m looking forward to taking a bit more time to enjoy it.
A treasure trove of memories
I know I will miss The One Show. I have always worked in live TV, right from my first presenting days on Blue Peter, and there isn’t anything quite like it. The energy of a daily live show, steadily building up to a broadcast at 7pm, is tiring but tremendously exciting. The One Show has given me a lot of laughs and a lot of memories that I will always treasure. There aren’t many jobs where you get to be Frank Spencer in Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em or James Bond in the opening title sequence, or interview Hillary Clinton in a foyer because there has been a water leak in the studio. It’s such a diverse show that there is never a dull moment.
Although I will definitely miss it, I’m looking forward to my life being a little less hectic. There will certainly be less juggling to do, and life in general will be less rushed and a little more calm!