Matt Baker talks return to full-time farming due to ‘vulnerable’ mum’s terrifying accident

Matt Baker reveals he’s filming a new series

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Former The One Show host Matt Baker, 43, has opened up on having to return to farming full-time alongside his TV work after his mum Janice Baker, 65, suffered a broken leg and a smashed knee following a horrific accident on the family’s farm in the Durham Dales. The Countryfile star dropped everything in July last year as he and his wife Nicola Baker and their two children, Molly, 11, and Luke, 13, rushed to support his parents when Janice was trampled by a section of her flock of sheep.

The shepherdess had been in a pen preparing her sheep for clipping when she was knocked over by the flock in a terrifying accident.

Janice’s accident and subsequent injuries were a cause for concern for the family as her husband and Matt’s dad Mike is 77 and was unable to take on the responsibility for the 100-acre farm while she recovered.

Matt and his family then documented how they dealt with the worrying situation for his new four-part series, Matt Baker: Our Farm in the Dales, which is airing on More 4.

Discussing his necessary take over of his parents’ farm, Matt explained: “Mum runs the show up there.

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“She was so determined to keep going and passionate about what she does. In the end, it was the sheep that had to say: ‘Look, it’s game over’. 

“Mum wanted to keep farming sheep, so we thought, let’s find some that are better suited. And let’s look at the infrastructure, so Mum and Dad can continue living in the place they love so much.” 

Matt went on to admit his mum’s accident marked the first time he felt the need to urgently “step in” to help his parents.

“I’ve never felt the need to step in the way I did after the accident,” he told this week’s Radio Times. 

 

He revealed: “The last thing you want is to see your parents struggling, and Mum was very vulnerable. 

“The hardest part for me was filming her in that situation. I’ve never seen her like that.” 

Janice also shared her own feelings on Matt making changes to the family farm due to her injuries.

She added: “We talked about everything, as a family. 

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“At the time I couldn’t see a way out, but every cloud has a silver lining and it has changed for the better. 

“It was a journey for everyone, a realisation that no one is infallible.

“You have to be sensible and, while we’re so proud of him and everything he’s done, I am particularly proud of him for this, because they’ve come back and taken care of us.”

Matt’s plan was to restock the remote farm and introduce more suitable breeds to reduce the burden of upkeep on his parents.

Radio Times cover [RADIOTIMES]

He said: “Really we are securing the future of the breeding stock on the farm, in a way that mum will be able to cope in the wintertime on the hill. 

“That really is the whole premise of the show,” he explained to Wales247.co.uk.

Matt was keen to repay his parents for all the time and effort they put into raising him as a child.

The star shared: “It comes to a point where you start looking after your parents like they looked after you.

“Farming is such a generational thing anyway and the changes we were making to help mum and dad will be there for my children in the future.”

Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times – out now.

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