Here is everything you need to know about Countryfile presenter and magazine columnist Ellie Harrison.
Ellie grew up on a smallholding in the Cotswolds, where her family raised veg and kept chickens. She says her father thought he was Tom in The Good Life and even made his own yoghurt.
Ellie worked on a farm in Zimbabwe when she was younger and went on wildlife trips to Zambia, Zimbabwe and Canada. She won a scholarship from King’s College, London, to study Geography with Ecology and did her thesis in Zimbabwe, on development and animal conservation.
Ellie’s big dream was to be a country singer, but she took a job as a secretary at Channel 5 and was spotted by a producer, who thought she would make a good kid’s TV presenter. She turned the offer down…If Ellie wasn’t a presenter she’d like to run her own wildlife sanctuary.
Later the same producer convinced her to cover Michaela Strachan’s maternity leave and she presented Michaela’s Wild Challenge for a year, during which time the show won a BAFTA. She has since fronted natural history shows across several channels in the UK and US.
Ellie lived in London for some time but returned to the Cotwolds, where she now lives with her partner and their three children. The couple have been engaged for many years. For their ten year anniversary Ellie got her arm marked with ten small circles using a process known as scarification.
She has a five-acre Cotswolds smallholding and ancient apple orchard, which she tries to manage in a way that’s as beneficial for wildlife as possible.
In 2014 Ellie was made president of the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. She is also a patron of Humanists UK and says, “Being kind, forgiving, and feeling love towards others are not traits that belong to any one religion – they are the traits of humans.”
Ellie loves wild swimming but says she finds wearing wetsuits claustrophobic. To relax she enjoys singing, playing the banjo and cycling through the countryside. Ellie believes she suffers from SAD and says nature makes her well.
Her favourite country is Namibia and her favourite animal is the killer whale, a mammal occasionally sighted off the coast of the West African country.
And finally, Ellie’s got a dead badger buried in her back garden – she’s planning to study its skeleton!