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this day in history 1988

First episode of Countryfile aired

And Now Over To John In The New Forest

Lovers of cosy Sunday evening tea-time TV and extended five-day weather forecasts, rejoice! It’s Countryfile’s birthday! The rural magazine programme first plopped out of its mother and onto the hay after having a vet’s hand up there to help, on this date in 1988. Fronted by the erstwhile John Craven, it lived in a Sunday morning slot at first and ran for a meagre 30 minutes.

But such was the fervent bloodlust for the show from its slathering gaggle of fans that it was soon moved to the desirable Sunday night location and had its running time doubled.And quite right too. Doubled? It should be tripled. At least! I can’t get enough features on farming, conservation, ducks and butter churning. In fact, I’d be quite happy for a non-stop, pay-per-view Countryfile channel. Maybe that’s what they can replace BBC Three with? Constant Craven. Now there’s a wondrous thought.