sat 22/06/2024

A Country Life for Half the Price, Channel 5 review - Essex couple Sam and Lucy become rural entrepreneurs | reviews, news & interviews

A Country Life for Half the Price, Channel 5 review - Essex couple Sam and Lucy become rural entrepreneurs

A Country Life for Half the Price, Channel 5 review - Essex couple Sam and Lucy become rural entrepreneurs

Swapping commuter misery for bees, birds and 'posh cats' in Suffolk

Humble gets back to the land with Sam and Lucy Auger-Forbes

The “relocation in search of a new life” theme has become a dependable TV staple, from A New Life in the Sun to Relocation, Relocation and Ben Fogle’s New Lives in the Wild, but this Channel 5 series by Kate Humble has been more entertaining than most. Perhaps it’s because we captive, locked-down TV viewers are yearning to roam free in wide-open spaces.

Anyway, having moved from Chiswick to the Wye Valley, Humble (an expert on sustainable bee-keeping) knows all about swapping commuting and urban sprawl for the rural life. This third episode (out of six) was a hoot.

Humble’s protagonists were Sam and Lucy Auger-Forbes from Rochford in Essex, plus three-year-old son Harvey. Sick of spending half the day stuck in traffic and finding that their home was increasingly surrounded by huge new housing developments, they decided to make the break and head for Kessingland, near Lowestoft on the Suffolk coast. Sam, an account manager for a medical company, wanted to try his luck as a “rural entrepreneur”, for which his outgoing, hands-on personality leaves him well equipped.

Finding themselves £100,000 in credit after selling up and buying a new five-bedroom house, they began rearing chickens, keeping bees and breeding “posh cats” (specifically, the exotically-spotted Savannah Cat – yours at five grand a head). They were especially excited about Sam’s project to create a mini-wilderness in a four-acre plot of woodland, with wild trails and hides where nature photographers could snap local rarities like the hawfinch and various aerial predators for a modest £75 a day.

Often, these live-makeover programmes end in tears, frustration and debt, but it mostly went like clockwork for Sam and Lucy, even if a spate of violent storms had held up their woodland project. Humble was able to declare triumphantly that Sam and Lucy had indeed doubled their quality of life while pocketing some extra cash. Watch out Suffolk, we’ll all be doing it soon.

These life-makeover programmes often end in tears, frustration and debt, but this one mostly went like clockwork


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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