I’m often asked: “How do you combine filming Countryfile with The One Show? How do you fit it all in?”
Well, as I’m writing this on a Thursday, one of the most hectic days of the week, I’ll give you a brief run down of how things fit.
While I’m dropping my son off at school, my wife downloads the Countryfile films that have been emailed over by the team (now based in Bristol) so I can view them before adding my voiceover, which will be broadcast the following Sunday. This is usually done with my daughter sat on my knee, as she loves to hear the Countryfile theme tune blasting out of the computer speakers. We broadcast programmes that were filmed two weeks previously. I then head to the outdoor clothing cupboard, shifting the cat out of the way, to find the appropriate outfits for filming, which is due to take place the following day. Having packed for the majority of weather eventualities (and removed the cat hair), I leave home at 11am and head to the sound recording studio in London, where today I recorded the voiceover for two Countryfile shows. It usually takes around 40 minutes per programme.
I then trek over to The One Show studio, with my wellies and coats in hand, to research and plan the evenings live broadcast with Alex Jones and The One Show team. As soon as we’re off air at 7.30pm, I get out of my glad rags and head off in whatever mode of transport will get me to our Countryfile location for dawn on Friday morning. The transport can vary from my own Land Rover to a taxi bike to the airport, then a plane ride before driving to a remote hotel, usually with a key left in an obscure place to let myself in.
The joy of Countryfile is the beautiful, hard-to-reach places we film in, but it can be a nightmare getting there. Tonight, however, is not so bad I’m travelling from London to the Forest of Dean, just three hours away, including a stop at the ‘all you can squeeze into a box’ Chinese takeaway on the A40.
Some bedtime reading of the briefing notes (usually left with the key) allow me to hit the ground running the next day. I already start thinking of the bacon roll wrapped in tin foil. This is always my order for breakfast as there’s no time to sit and enjoy a leisurely full English when you have to record three films and links – and only one day to do it. It’s hectic, but I wouldn’t change it for any other job.