… and though Putin and Obama are hammering it out on the big screens on our walls, here in the Countryfile office, the week is winding down peacefully. This Sunday’s show is ready to go (as always, make sure you tune in!) and research is well under way for our next spectacular.
The Farmers Guardian and the Farmers Weekly were this morning full of news about the cattle vaccine after our show last Sunday. Believe me, though, not all the feedback has been good. Despite deliberately NOT doing a programme about the badger cull, and instead focusing on TB from another angle, we got a lot of flack for appearing pro-cull. It’s been a good lesson in dealing with public feedback. As frustrating as it is when people just don’t want to hear the points you have to make, or accuse you of being biased when you have done everything in your power to present a balanced view – well, in the end, that’s journalism, and you’ve done all you can do.
The investigations team has this week moved on to something much less contentious, but no less important – invasive species, which we can all agree are a big problem. This has been a pet topic of mine after I wrote an article about some great work on invasive zebra mussels done by my friend Claire, so I’m delighted that it’s been taken on by the Countryfile gang. As always, the research has led me down some interesting roads. In the last few days I’ve chatted to the Botanical Society, local councils trying to deal with Japanese knotweed, and bioscientists working on ways to stop invasive plants in their tracks. It’s been a fascinating week.
But, Dom and Zara have this in hand, and my time is up! I’ve learned an incredible amount at Countryfile – obviously things that are specific to TV, but also a wide range of skills that I know I’ll use in my PhD life, and beyond. Many thanks to all the people who have included me in their work with so much patience, and who made my time here a real joy.
Next week I’ll be at the British Science Festival in Newcastle, where I’ll be blogging for the British Science Association.