This is an archived press release
Monday 20 December 2004
20 December 2004
Peak District in spotlight for gay time down on the farm
Farm holidays in the Peak District could get a boost when a new reality TV series hits our screens featuring four gay media personalities mucking in on a Hartington farm.
Viewers will see what happened when the city sophisticates were brought down to earth during a month at Bank Top Farm, bed and breakfast and tea rooms.
The Village will be screened in January and run for seven weeks. It features Ready Steady Cook's Richard Cawley, Trading Up's Kristian Digby, comedian Scott Capurro and Phixx pop star Andrew Kinlochan as they get to grips with farming, catering and village life.
Jane and Owen Pilkington, who have run the farm for 25 years, will feature almost as much as the celebrities, along with their children, Sam, 22, and Olivia, 18, who help run the family business. With 400 beef cattle and 800 breeding ewes as well as a three-bedroom bed and breakfast business and tea room, the stars had their hands full.
"It was a lot of fun during the filming," said Jane, "they were four very nice people to have around.
"Whatever needed doing, they had to do it – they lived with the family, worked with the animals, helped with the lunches and teas, mixed with the community and got involved with local activities.
"It was totally different from their London life – they had to do some of the most horrific jobs that even we don't like doing. We think they enjoyed it, deep down – but we won't know until we see the interviews they recorded afterwards."
Jane and Owen began their bed and breakfast business to help support the farm some 14 years ago – a diversification more Peak District farmers may consider with the extensive changes in the farm subsidy system starting in 2005.
The couple are members of the Peak District Farm Holiday Group, a marketing organisation which was set up with the aid of a Peak District National Park Authority New Environmental Economy grant and helps publicise farm-based holiday accommodation with a website, advertisements and literature.
Their farm was chosen when a location scout for the programme makers Target Productions visited the Peak District in August.