Sara Cox reveals she’s sowing the seeds of love in new BBC2 series Love in the Countryside
Sara Cox is wearing her heart on her sleeve and wellies on her feet for Love in the Countryside. It’s a farm fresh series, half dating show, half fly-on-the-wall documentary, which sees Sara help eight UK farmers take time out from their demanding lives and make some room for romance.
Here, Sara, 43, tells us more about BBC2’s new breed of TV matchmaking, which embraces good old-fashioned courtship in the hope romance will come home to roost…
Sounds like a special show. Have you enjoyed making it?
“It’s been brilliant. The contributors are very brave to go on camera and talk about being single. I reassured them this wasn’t going to be the sort of show where we’d take the mickey out of them; it’s a ‘feel good’ show. It’s sweet and endearing not cruel. We genuinely want to find them love and follow their adventures.”
How involved are you with the farmers taking part?
“I’m somewhere between supportive sister and overbearing aunt. There was one occasion when there was a break up potentially happening and I couldn’t leave my phone alone all night, checking for updates from the producers!”
Have you ever tried to match-make before?
“Funnily enough, I’ve had quite a big success in the Twitterworld with a couple called Ross and Amy. Years ago Ross followed me on Twitter and then this girl Amy, who also followed me, started to follow Ross. They started talking independently and now they’re married and have just had their second baby! How good is that?”
What attracted you to hosting Love in the Countryside?
“I’m quite soppy and feel really blessed that I’ve a lovely husband. So the thought of helping farming people find love is really appealing. Also the countryside dynamic to the show is so interesting. It’s a completely new angle. It’s interesting to explore the roles of farmers and show the changing face of farming.”
Why is dating particularly challenging for farmers?
“It’s tough living and working as a farmer. You’ve to work such long hours. It doesn’t leave much time to go out looking for love. And, whoever you do find has to realise farming is a vocation. It’s a big responsibility. You’ve animals or crops to look after. You can’t just say ‘Let’s go to Paris for the weekend!’”
Readers may not realise but you’re no stranger to farm life…
“My dad runs a farm. It’s the most wonderful place. You can see the cows shouting outside the window for breakfast. The cows had drinking machines that automatically filled up, so whenever the shower got cold my dad would say ‘the cows are having a drink!’”
Did you have similar dating problems to the candidates in Love in the Countryside?
“To be honest it would be a stretch to do a comparison. My dad’s farm is on the edge of a village whereas the guys in the show really are in the depths of the countryside. Also, I left when I grew up but some friends of my dad had quite a lonely existence.”
What are your hopes for the farmers taking part in Love in the Countryside?
“It would be fantastic to help the singletons on the show find ‘the one’. I envisage future children being called Sara! I’m joking, but it would be lovely to get nice stories out of this. I definitely hope to buying a new hat. I’m emotionally involved with everyone on the show. They’re all different but genuinely lovely people.”
Love in the Countryside starts on BBC2 next Wednesday.