Matt Baker announces two new series of 'Our Farm in the Dales'
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Matt Baker, star of Our Farm in the Dales and former The One Show Presenter, spoke with Mariella Frostrup on Times Radio to speak about his upcoming book A Year on Our Farm: How the Countryside Made Me. Whilst speaking about on this new venture and what to expect from the book, Matt opened up on some of the struggles he has faced living with dyslexia.
Intrigued by Matt’s career and how he dealt with his dyslexia, Mariella asked: “Matt Baker, how did you ever, not because you weren’t good at it obviously, but how did you end up on television?
“You talk about how you live in a practical world, I know as a presenter you have to sit and read autocue when you’re sitting doing The One Show, it’s a live programme.
“So first of all, as a severe dyslexic that must present challenges, but secondly, how did you have the patience to put up with all the nonsense around making television programmes.”
Laughing at her surprise, he explained: “I mean, I never wanted to be a presenter. [It] purely happened by accident, I mean I write about it all in the book.
“But basically, I ended up on Blue Peter, not by accident by hard work, but it was never part of my vision, and it was never part of my plan.
“Then one television programme led onto another on to another on to another and yes autocue has been an absolute nightmare and I genuinely, I learn everything that I am doing,” he said.
Matt continued: “I mean that’s the flip side is that when you’re learning to read as a six-year-old, your brain is learning incredibly hard to be able to pick out these words and to say what you think it says.
“That pressure that you’re under while you’re doing it is another thing that has set me up in good stead because I’m used to working in a very high pressure situation simply by being asked to read.”
Matt explained he has never dropped his work ethic and has applied it to everything he has ever done in his career.
“I’m a try hard because I’ve had to try hard if you know what I mean, nothing comes easy in the world of text for a dyslexic person, and that has been my outlook.”
Mariella continued: “I guess that’s what you’ve been saying about your own experiences and your children’s experience growing up on a farm because nothing at all comes easy on a farm.”
Matt also told Mariella about how living on a farm and being surrounded by animals helped his dyslexia when he was younger.
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Mariella asked: “You’ve spoken before about living with severe dyslexia and how your proximity and relationships with animals have helped you with that, can you elaborate for me?”
“It’s just because when I was younger, I didn’t spend hours with my head in a book because it wasn’t relaxing for me,” Matt began.
“I’ll always have a very odd relationship with words because I so want to be able to read brilliantly, and I don’t want to feel the way that I do when I look at a page and see all these words that are like swimming around.
“I’m trying to pick them out in a sentence that’s all over the shop, I don’t want to have to be able to have to dig myself out a hole because I’ve got the second word in a sentence wrong.
“For me, I think just to be around a very practical world is where I feel happiest, I love to paint, for me, it’s a really nice thing to do,” he described.
Matt has recently announced his farming documentary Our Farm in the Dales has been recommissioned for another two series and a Christmas special.
Taking to Instagram with his with Nicola, he revealed: “Hi guys, just a quick one that the first series of Our Farm in the Dales has finished on Channel 4, so thank you for all the lovely comments.
“Now, we keep getting asked one specific thing… I can tell you now there isn’t just going to be another series, but there’s going to be two new series of Our Farm in the Dales – and Nicola is absolutely delighted.”
Our Farm in the Dales returns for a Christmas Special later this year.
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