The North Yorkshire Moors are ‘Lush’ says Countryfile’s Tom Heap

The Countryfile team at Castle Howard
The Countryfile team at Castle Howard

As Countryfile Live enters its second day at Castle Howard, we talk to Tom Heap and Adam Henson about what it’s like to be in North Yorkshire.

Cotswold Farm Park owner, Adam Henson, said: “I think it’s really important and really lovely that we’ve come north. There will be a large section of our viewers from this part of the country so to make the Countryfile Live event accessible to them, without them having to travel to Blenheim, is brilliant.”

Grabbing an early morning selfie at Castle Howard

Grabbing an early morning selfie at Castle Howard

“It’s wonderful that Castle Howard are hosting us in such a beautiful setting and its wonderfully laid out.”

Tom has fond memories of the area: “I really like it being here,” he said with a grin.

“The place I actually did go growing up is the North York Moors, I had very good friends who had a house in Lealholm, the pub, The Board, there and going down to the river, I just loved it.

“I love the tops of the moors, it’s bleak, but in a beautiful kind of way and then it drops down to the valley and it’s just lush, it’s like two different worlds in one place.”

Tom has a busy schedule filming Countryfile: “It’s pretty much every week, four weeks out of five, two days filming and half a day finishing a previous film, that means things like doing the voice over and travelling to wherever it is you’ve go to be.

“In my case that can be anywhere in the country, and often within those two days sometimes involves movement within the country, such as Orkney and South Wales or Edinburgh and Kent.

“Last week we started off in Shropshire and ended up in Swindon, my brief is following the story rather than the location.

“My role is and always has been to do the investigative and current affairs pieces on the show. I absolutely love what I do.

“I get to make 10 or 12 minutes of telly every week, of a high visual calibre, and I hope a high journalistic calibre as well as going to beautiful places and meeting fascinating people. What’s not to like?

“Last time I was in Scarborough I was working on a programme called animal 24/7 looking at the Scarborough donkeys. As for Whitby, it must be 20 years since I was last there, it’s a beautiful place though.”

When asked if there’s a question he’s surprised he never gets asked, Tom said: “The thing that I feel people sometimes want to know is ‘How come they never give you any happy stories to do?’They’ve coined a phrase for me on Twitter now which is the Grim Heaper! The truth is I do get happy stories at Countryfile Live, oh, and I get to smile at Christmas!