There is yet another TV programme about all things Cornwall hitting our screens – this time starring Fern Britton.
By delving into Cornwall’s roots, its rich history, heritage, myths and legends, Britton attempts to discover “the secret behind the magic of modern Cornwall” in the two-part series starting tonight (August 5) on Channel 5.
The 64-year-old, who frequented Cornwall as a child, and lives here today, appears on the show where she talks about village life as a “parcel of gossip”, revisits her youth and shares her favourite places.
For as long as Britton can remember, Cornwall has always been in her heart. From childhood holidays in the 1950s, to covering the area as a local news reader in the 1980s, and now as her home and inspiration as an author.
In this two-part series, viewers accompany Britton as she explores the part of the county she first fell heart over heels for as a child -the south.
Fern’s love affair with Cornwall began with sand between the toes adventures on childhood holidays in Looe, and it’s there she starts her journey in episode one, recreating some of her happiest childhood memories to get to the bottom of what she found so intoxicating – including reliving the exciting speedboat rides of her youth.
Britton tries to uncover what sets the county’s physical landscape apart from the rest of the UK by taking us back to the fiery dawn of time with geologist Dr Anjana Khatwa on the stunning Lizard peninsula.
She explores an era when Cornwall was its own kingdom and learns about Cornish rebellion against English rule that nearly led to the death of the Cornish language.
And she saddles up as she recalls her rides on windswept Bodmin Moor to find out why so many literary greats have been inspired by Cornwall, and how their visions have made the remote peninsula county of Cornwall world famous.
My Cornwall with Fern Britton airs Thursday, August 5, at 8pm, Produced by Twofour for Channel 5
Fern Britton answers questions about the show
You used to visit Cornwall in the Fifties and you live here now, how has it changed in that period?
Cornwall hasn’t changed much to me. Some of the roads have got a little wider and there are more homes built, but the essence of it is impossible to remove.
The sky, the air, the sea. The sounds of gulls and cows.
What are your fondest memories of Cornwall?
My fondest memories are swimming with my uncle in Looe. Playing the 1d fruit machines in Looe. The model Village in Polperro. The shark fishing and the speedboats.
What did you learn while making the series?
I loved making this series because it took me to meet people I would have never met before. Artists, a witch and a clotted cream maker.
Can you tell us about the horse riding and classic car driving?
I adored my white MGB. I drove one in the early 80s and it is my most favourite car. I would have loved to have kept this one! The horse riding was enormous fun, but less riding,more plodding!
In the 80s a friend and I would go up to riding stables on the moor and do all the wonderful riding there was. Even going to the pub where we would hitch the horses up like cowboys and go in for a pint and a sausage.
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What was life like living there?
Living in Cornwall is slower and much funnier than anywhere I have lived. I have lived full time in two villages. Once in my twenties and now in my sixties. It’s still the same. Village life is a gift. A parcel of gossip, history, laughs,gardening, farming and the much contested Annual Produce show. My Cooking Apples got a first in 2019!
Where are your favourite places in Cornwall and why?
Anywhere in Cornwall suits me but my favourite places include Looe, Polperro, Tintagel, Sennen Cove, Bodmin Moor, Padstow, Golitha Falls and Trebarwith strand.
It’s the era of the staycation – where must we go for a slice of classic Cornwall?
Any of the above are wonderful places to visit on staycation.
You tell a story about having seen Cornish piskies, can you tell us any more about that?Do you really believe you saw piskies?
I did see piskies! I know it sounds mad and maybe it was a trick of the eye, but they saw me and changed into Grouse.
Why do you think Cornwall is so rich with myths and legends?
Cornwall is full of magic, but you have to believe to be able to see it.
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