Life

TV Quickfire: Kate Humble on new Channel 5 series A Country Life For Half The Price

A Country Life For Half The Price features people with big dreams of living more simply and sustainably. We found out more from host Kate Humble...

A Country Life for Half the Price: Presenter Kate Humble and friend

WHY IS THIS DIFFERENT FROM A PROPERTY SHOW?

ALTHOUGH you get to see lovely places and the places people move to, I think of it more as a show celebrating people's dreams, and bravery to follow through with them. It's a show about lifestyle and about priorities and what people have realised is really important to them and their families.

WHAT IMPACT DO YOU THINK COVID-19 HAD ON THE FAMILIES' DECISIONS TO MOVE TO THE COUNTRY?

The pandemic has been a very big reminder of how much, as a species, we need open space. We like contact with nature; it is good for our mental health. And for lots of people, particularly people with children, they felt actually, 'This is really important. We've got to do this now'.

WAS THIS QUITE AN EMOTIONAL SERIES TO FILM?

The isolation of moving to a new place, and not being able to go out and make friends and meet new people and go to events, has added a layer of challenge and difficulty for a lot of families that, had times been normal, they wouldn't have been through.

It's awful – you have to sit two metres apart while somebody is saying, 'I'm really struggling with this', and you just want to go up and give them a great big hug. I've had to do a lot of virtual hugging.

YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND, LUDO, NOW LIVE ON A WORKING FARM IN RURAL WALES. WHAT INSPIRED THAT MOVE?

We had a good network of mates in London and we had a life there. It's just it was a life I absolutely didn't want, which makes me sound incredibly selfish. But I knew I couldn't stay, and I needed to be back in a rural environment because that's where I feel comfortable and happy.

We moved to a part of the country that neither of us knew. We didn't know anybody here. We took on a smallholding; having never looked after pigs or anything like that before, suddenly that's what I do first thing in the morning. I got up at 5.45am this morning, I went running with my dog, I fed my pigs, I mucked out my hens, ordered some straw. It's a very different sort of life, and I love it.

DID YOU USE YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE TO HELP PEOPLE IN THE SHOW?

What I hope I encouraged our families to do is throw themselves in properly. If you're going to make the move, jump in with both feet and commit.

It wasn't like we were here just for the weekends and then we were fleeing back to London every five minutes – that was never going to be the deal. This was going to be home. It is home.

YOUNG PEOPLE FACE DIFFICULTY GETTING ON THE PROPERTY LADDER THESE DAYS…

We're quite an odd country; you look at the rest of Europe and people don't really buy. People rent, and that is fine, and there are a lot of advantages to that. There's been so much store put on getting on the property ladder and getting a property and you sort of think, 'But why?'

For some people, it might be absolutely the right thing. But it's a little bit like when people say to me, 'Why didn't you have kids?' Well, I know it wasn't the right thing for me, so I didn't have kids – even though that apparently went against everything society says I should do.

A Country Life For Half The Price will air on Channel 5 from Tuesday July 27.

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