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BBC1 Countryfile star is celebrity guest at 10th anniversary Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival

Adam HensonAdam Henson, a presenter of BBC1’s Countryfile, will be the celebrity guest at this year’s Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival.

The 10th anniversary event will take place at the Villa Marina Gardens on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 September 2018.

Adam will meet local farmers, via the Manx National Farmers’ Union, on Friday 14 September.

He will be at the festival all day on the Saturday and will give a talk about his life and work before filming commitments take him back to the UK on the Sunday.

If you would like to attend Adam’s 45 minute presentation entitled 'My Life on the Land and in the Media' at 7pm on Saturday 15 September in the Theatre in the Villa Marina Gardens at £10. Tickets are available.

The festival is organised by the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, whose Food Matters strategy is growing the value of food and drink to the economy.

Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said:

‘Countryfile has millions of viewers each Sunday and its presenters are familiar faces to us.

‘It is exciting that we have been able to secure someone so well-known to attend the 10th anniversary festival, which will be our biggest and best yet.

‘Adam comes from a farming family, is qualified in agriculture and runs a large farm as well as a project pioneering rare breeds.

‘He is well-versed with life in a rural community such as ours and we look forward to him being an entertaining guest and passing on his expertise to us.’

Adam said:

‘I’ve been lucky enough to visit the Island a number of times, filming for Countryfile and Lambing Live. 

‘The changing topography and diversity of farming is extraordinary for such a small island.

‘Having bred Manx Loaghtan sheep, it was fascinating to see them in their homeland and meet the passionate breeders. It was also interesting to go to the Cregneash, a living museum where you can experience a traditional crofting way of life. 

‘A boat journey I took to the Calf of Man was fairly hair-raising but worth it, staying in the bird observatory for a night to see the elusive Manx Shearwater. 

‘Another incredible sight was the wallabies, now wild on the Isle, having escaped from a private collection. 

‘I’m looking forward to visiting the festival and experiencing the wealth of food culture the Island has to offer.’

Sponsors are still sought for the festival, with a variety of packages available. For information, email the event’s organiser, Audrey.Fowler@gov.im, or ring +44 1624 685856.

Notes

Born into a farming family, Adam gained a HND in agriculture at Seale-Hayne Agricultural College in Devon, where he met his business partner, Duncan Andrews. 

Having succeeded Bemborough Farm tenancy from his father, Adam now runs the 650-hectare estate with Mr Andrews, growing wheat, spring barley and oilseed rape and tending a flock of 350 ewes. 

They also run the Cotswold Farm Park, which pioneers rare breed conservation. Set up in 1971 by Adam’s father, the award-winning attraction welcomes more than 100,000 visitors a year.

Adam started in television in 2001 when he was chosen, from 3,500 applicants, to present Countryfile. He now broadcasts on a wide range of radio and TV programmes.

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