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MARLO MEETS: JIMMY DOHERTY

This week we have the pleasure of meeting Suffolk based farmer and television presenter, 'Jimmy Doherty'.  With the recent release of 'Autumn at Jimmy's Farm', we find out what the new programme is all about as well as discovering some secrets about the man behind it. 

1. How has lockdown been at Jimmy's farm?

Lockdown has been very interesting with lots of ups and downs! Its effected our business in lots of different ways - like so many businesses, it's been very difficult in terms of having staff as well as managing your overheads. When we closed, our income stopped immediately. So we took the approach that there's nothing we can do, let's crack on and do whatever we can that's positive. With no general public about, we took the opportunity to build lots of stuff - so in a way, it's allowed us opportunities that we otherwise wouldn't have had. We built new closures, we cleaned lots of stuff - the overriding plan was to get the farm bigger and better before we opened again. The animals, like us, got really bored because the general public weren't about. The sheep - who constantly got fed by the public ended up slimming down a fair bit. The meerkats, who used to have loads of people coming past also got incredibly bored. One in particular, Steve McQueen, often decided to make a break for it and would escape three or four times a day! He'd go off to visit the camels, you'd shout at him and he'd go and get back in his cage.

2. Did you have a childhood dream?

My childhood dream was to own a zoo! I used to get bits of A4, tape them all together to make one giant piece of paper and then I would draw out what my zoo would look like.

3. If you were on Desert Island Discs, what would your luxury be?

Probably my wife. She can come over twice a week! No, my luxury would probably be a fishing rod. Not just to catch food, but there's something rather lovely about sitting with a fishing rod and just fishing. I'd also have a never ending pint of Guinness, that when you finish, it just fills up again. To sit by the sea with a pint of Guinness and a fishing rod is just fantastic.

4. What is the best gift you have ever received?

I bought an old Land Rover that was directly from the army that didn't even have a roof on it. Then for Christmas, my wife sent it off to a specialist - they put a roof on it, painted it all, put the army spade on; I then walked out on Christmas day and there it was.

5. Are you a big wine drinker? If so, what's your tipple?

I like a nice red, I like a nice white, I like a nice rose. I like it all. I actually really love a bit of fizzy red as well. But there's one red in particular I like, its called 'Boar's Blood'. I think its either Romanian or Bulgarian and its from one of the oldest vineyards in the world.

6. What is your ideal last meal?

I'd probably go for a Fore Rib of Beef, something from Galloway, hung for about four weeks. It would have the crispiest roast potatoes, lovely cabbage, carrots, the best Yorkshire puddings and wonderful gravy. Then I would have cheese and a glass of port, sit by my fire and have some single malt whisky.

7. Tell us a bit about your new programme, 'Autumn at Jimmy's Farm'?

The first series was all based in spring about the lockdown, what we got up to and anything we built. In Autumn we get the changing of the seasons, the opening to the public and the arrival of new animals - monkeys and giant anteaters in particular! But also, all the action starts to happen - the animals start to breed, the goats and the sheep are starting to mate and we've had piglets born. Basically its all kicking off in autumn!