The opening scenes of First Time Farmers (8pm, 18 January, Channel 4) made my heart sink: a schoolgirl muddying her uniform as she chased a lamb, while another little bleater was carried across a lush field, urinating, I feared this might be a little on the silly side.
But once we were introduced to Flossy, Lewis and George (lashings of ginger beer, anyone?), the show had my full attention.
Lewis, 18, spent a year in a caravan so he could milk 180 cows a day, and his genuine love of farming shone through. “I like milking and if it means living in a caravan - well, I’d live on the street if it would let me do it for the rest of my life.”
Then there was George, who failed to turn up for lambing after going on a bender the night before. With his hard-to-please farmer mum constantly on his back, it was a relief for us all when he got a good price at market for his stock.
My only real criticism was the random interjections from Farmer Dennis, Farmer Neil and Farmer Richard, who gave us wise soliloquies on various aspects of farming. A nice idea but too random - their wisdom could have been put to better use, perhaps advising our young farmers.
My personal highlight was Flossy’s situation: having failed her biology and chemistry GCSEs, she dealt brilliantly with the harrowing birth of two dead lambs. “The waters shouldn’t have broke so early ‘cos basically the lambs drowned inside her body,” she said. Who needs to learn about appendixes and the melting point of gold, when you’re feeding the nation, eh Flossy?