From a dashing dairy farmer to a ’nervous’ equine vet, BBC 2’s latest dating show Love in the Countryside is set to charm the nation.
Meet eight rural romantics who all seem to live the idyllic country life – the only problem being they have no-one to share it with.
BBC2’s new dating show, presented by farmer’s daughter and Radio 2 DJ Sara Cox, aims to help lonely members of the agricultural community find their soulmates, setting them up on a series of blind dates.
Occupation: Dairy and arable farmer
He says: “I have wined and dined girls in the past. I have probably been an awful boyfriend over the last couple of years because I was busy with other stuff and my head was elsewhere. I would like to think I would be generous and caring.
“I’ve never been on a blind date before or done online dating. It will be intriguing. Doing this is very much a case of stepping in at the deep end!”
Occupation: Equine vet
She says: “I am definitely nervous. It is taking me out of my comfort zone and it is completely different. You know it has gone horribly wrong when you need to find a TV show to find you a date!
“It is harder when everyone else is getting married or buying houses and it makes me feel the need to hurry up the process. I am just up for a bit of fun and will ride the waves and see what happens. I love working as a vet, it’s my life now. Anything else positive that happens in my life is a bonus.”
Occupation: Cattle and sheep farmer
Location: Dumfries and Galloway
She says: “It’s hard to meet anyone. I live near Dumfries but that’s a small town and all my friends have got jobs elsewhere. The agricultural community tends to stick together and so you end up meeting the same people all the time.
“When I get dressed up, I do feel alien as I look in the mirror and think ‘OMG what are you doing! I am used to just wearing jeans and a hoodie.”
Occupation: Sheep and cattle farmer
Location: Dumfries and Galloway
He says: “For me, one of the biggest things was coming out. I had that going on for a long time and I did date women to hide it. I didn’t come out until I was 32 and I am now 40. You are always frightened when you come out especially in the rural community.
"But I have been so fortunate because everyone has embraced it and they have been so supportive. I don’t know if I would have done this programme if they hadn’t.”
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He says: “It’s quite difficult because the job is seasonal and very weather orientated with long hours. When the sun is shining, you do have to go out in all hours to get the crops in. It is also quite difficult, especially with me being 33, as a lot of my friends are settled down or married now and they don’t go out that often (so I don’t go out either!)
“I am quite traditional and old fashioned. On the first date, I would take them for a meal to get to know them, I love to pay rather than go half and half.”
Occupation: Dairy, cattle and arable farmer
He says: “I’ve been single for seven years. I have two children who are grown-up, 17 and 19. They aren’t bothered that I am going on this programme. They think it is quite funny.
“I don’t get out as much nowadays. When I was younger, I was out most nights. Now I am lucky if I go out once a week. To have a good night out, I would need to go to York which is 35 miles away. Nowadays I do also find with modern pubs there is so much music, talking to a lady can be tricky.”
He says: “I work for myself and it’s very difficult to try and find somebody. Then if you do find somebody, they are either spoken for or not interested!
“I am gregarious, nice and I do have a bit of romance in me. I buy flowers and I think I would make someone a good husband. Everyone has always told me this. It’s just trying to find the right person. I want someone who can muck in on the farm and get on with it.”
Occupation: Pig farmer
She says: “I don’t think I have ever been on a blind date but I did have an almost dating disaster. After weeks of fancying a local person who I had become quite good friends with, I plucked up the courage to ask him out only for him to then run a mile. It’s tough because you don’t meet anyone outside your circle of friends or family.
“I used to believe in love at first sight when I was 18 but when you get to my age, it is hard to fall in love with someone at first sight. I am more of a person who enjoys a relationship that grows.”