First we had Jimmy’s Farm, with one-time (big word alert) entomologist Jimmy (Jamie Oliver’s Bessie) fancying turning his hand to being a pig farmer.
Then we had various members of split boybands off to farm deer in Scotland.
It’s nothing new. River Daltrey and trout farming. Prince Charles and over-priced biscuits. And now we have Abz, former member of 5ive. Yes, that’s two lots of atrocious spelling in just 5ive words. And Abz is planning a move to rural Wales with his partner Vicky, a glamorous laydee with 50s pin-up hair, fire engine lips and Cleopatra Kohl eyes.
The first hurdle Abz hits is that he can’t understand the locals, which is rich as he seems to be a white Jamaican, judging by the sound of his accent. Or perhaps in Enfield, where he was born, they speak fluent Trenchtown. Peace, man.
Oh, how we chortled as they went to stay with smallholding guru and expert Hoppy (never heard of her) and ended up fleeing their teepee during the night for the comfort of their Range Rover. Hoppy had showed them how to chop kindling for a fire, but Abz had almost chopped his finger off trying, so they had taken to the car for warmth.
After what looked like some nuts and berries foraged from the hedgerow, Abz then went off to help deliver milk from Hoppy’s hand-milked Jersey cows by dog-drawn cart (no, as you might have guessed, it’s not a big round).
But I began to warm to them, as a neighbour dropped by and Vicky had a shot on his quad in a onesie.
And Abz’s face fell as Hoppy paid them a visit to give them some self-sufficiency advice, had a look around their (small plot of) land and practically guffawed at how boggy it was and how shaded by some massive trees (absolutely no good at all, according to Hoppy) which should be immediately chopped down and fed into a log-burner. Well, she didn’t exactly say that, but you know that was what she meant.
And then, horror of horrors, she pronounced their two beloved horses surplus to requirements and that faced with the choice of a horse or a cow, she would choose a cow as you could actually get something from it – milk. Try telling that to generations of Mongolian and Kazakh nomads, who are perfectly happy milking their horses.
I’m inclined to think that Hoppy may have been right about draining the land, which was more akin to a bog than a paddock. It did look a bit like Glastonbury on bad year, so Abz would have felt right at home. Perhaps he didn’t even notice how bad it was. Perhaps he spent so much time in muddy fields at festivals in his 5ive days that he thinks all fields are like that.
But Hoppy is obviously anti-horse, as evidenced by the fact she uses a dog to pull her milk cart. She’d better keep a low profile if she comes to the Borders, then, where there are so many horses, that even the horses have their own horses.
As the programme ended, I was warming to Abz and Vicky, and willing them to get their dreadful land drained and their barren polytunnel filled. And to somehow keep their horses. I expect to see Abz perched on a milking stool next week, trying to figure out how to milk one of them. Sweet, as he would most probably say.