Matt Baker: Countryfile star hopes new-found sport will help him overcome past 'struggles'


TV presenter Matt Baker, 44, told Countryfile viewers that he’s been looking for a new form of exercise to keep him active, and he might just have found one that involves his beloved pet dogs. Matt admitted that being able to get out and about with his pets meant he could overcome his running “struggles” he’d suffered previously.

During the BBC show, he took part in a spot of canicross, a sport originating from Norway in the 1980s, where dog owners run behind their hounds as they pull them along.

Matt met contributor Cushla and her dog Rocky, who showed him the ropes and introduced him and his own labrador Annie, to the harness.

“I’ll be honest, I’ve struggled with running in the past,” he said.

“So to be out with your dog and to have a purpose to exercise your dog and be there together is something that I’m really looking forward to!”

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Elsewhere, an unearthed interview saw Matt apologise for stepping down from his role as president of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC), of which he was elected back in 2011.

The dad-of-two explained he was struggling to find time to spend with his young children Molly and Luke, due to the challenges of carrying out his multiple work commitments – which then included The One Show and Countryfile – and stood down from the post two years later.

The farming-enthusiast told The Farmers Guardian at the time: “The challenges are trying to get to places and to see people and show my support.

“Yes, I can have conversations with people wherever I go but I think the hardest thing has been knocking back all of the emails that have been coming in saying, ‘Will you come and see us?’

“That has been the hardest thing for me to see.”

He apologised and admitted he didn’t want to play the family card but had to put their needs first: “I’m sorry. I can’t get out there and see you because I’m so busy,” he said.

“I don’t want to play the old family card but I’m sure all the families will know I’ve got young children.”

He added: “When I’m not at work I’m trying to see them. It gets very difficult.”

Countryfile airs Sundays on BBC One at 7pm.


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