CORONABOBS ISOLATION DAY 156 – Diary of a Self-Isolator 25.8.2020 BLOG 27th August 2020

CORONABOBS ISOLATION DAY 156 – Diary of a Self-Isolator Tuesday 25th August 2020

Wholesome family shows top the lockdown TV ratings: Documentary about life on Yorkshire farm is most watched programme at 9pm after Gardeners’ World enjoyed highest viewing figures in a decade

Channel 5 show Our Yorkshire Farm saw 2.23million people tune in on August 11. This surpassed the 2.22million who watched a repeated episode of Line of Duty. Gardeners’ World saw some of its highest ratings in a decade during lockdown.

A wholesome documentary series about life on a Yorkshire farm has topped the lockdown TV rating charts – after Gardener’s World enjoyed its highest viewing figures in a decade in April.     

Channel 5 show Our Yorkshire Farm was the most-watched programme in a 9pm slot for two weeks in a row, with its ratings surpassing those of rivals BBC One, ITV and Channel 4.

The programme, which is currently airing its third series, documents the lives of Amanda and Clive Owen and their nine children at a remote hill farm in the Yorkshire Dales.

The couple run the 2,000-acre tenant farm in Upper Swaledale, manage their flock of around 1,000 sheep and run a B&B on the farm while raising their ‘free-range’ children – whose ages range from 17 to four.  

The fourth episode of the latest series – aired on August 11 and filmed before lockdown – gained 2.23million live viewers, the Times reported.

This surpassed the 2.22million who watched a repeated episode from the first series of Line of Duty on BBC One, with its ratings also topping those of BBC Two, ITV and Channel 4.

A week later, on August 18, Our Yorkshire Farm topped the charts again with 2.19million viewers tuning in to watch the family battle two brutal winter storms at Ravenseat farm. 

Daniel Pearl, Channel 5’s commissioning editor, admitted the show’s success had been helped by its rivals, who were forced to fill out their schedules with repeats after television production was interrupted by lockdown.

‘There is a massive desire for new content, as we know there is less new content out there,’ he said.

He added the show had been so successful as ‘viewers enjoy watching people do things well.’

‘At this particular time in history, people have a lot of negativity in their lives. To be able to spend an hour with a family pulling together, being positive about overcoming adversity, is very special,’ Mr Pearl said.

Our Yorkshire Farm is not the only lifestyle show which has seen impressive ratings amid the coronavirus crisis.     

The BBC’s long-running series Gardeners’ World has also seen some of its highest ratings in a decade during lockdown – as people have been forced to spend more time in their gardens.

The BBC2 show has benefitted from people staying at home and tending their plants, as bosses have managed to keep the show on air.

An episode on April 24, which saw presenter Monty Don self-filming footage from his garden, got an audience of 2.7 million, the highest ratings in a decade. 

Broadcasters have been forced to look for innovative solutions to keep the flow of new programming coming through amid the coronavirus crisis.

BBC2 is planning to air Gardeners’ World each week until October after putting in place measures to produce the show while sticking to social distancing rules.

Cameras have been rigged up in Don’s garden for each episode, with the crew able to avoid any near contact with the presenter and his family.

During filming the production team, including a remote camera operator, sit in shipping containers on the presenter’s driveway and Don communicates with his producer/director through a walkie-talkie.

Don, 64, said it was ‘odd’ doing a day’s filming ‘without another human being in sight’ but it was being done in a ‘highly professional’ way.

He said the programme was being made with ‘ingenuity’, ‘skill’ and ‘an awful lot of hard work’, adding ‘I’ve never done anything quite like this’.

The presenter said during the current situation gardening was proving to be ‘powerful medicine’ in helping people deal with the mental anxiety caused by the ‘frightening’ crisis and that a garden ‘resets the button’.

He said: ‘You can sit in your garden, hear the birds, you can breathe clean air, you can watch the blossom or the leaves unfold, or whether it be the tulips or the daffodils or whatever it might be, or you might even do a bit of weeding or plant something. That’s powerful medicine.’



Tonight, we watched sadly, the final Our Yorkshire Farm of this series. It covered going into lockdown and social distancing March and April into May. Social distancing is not difficult in their situation but it did mean they had to do their own filming. It showed the 9 children 8 of whom had to do home schooling.

They learn so much more on that farm though of real-life skills. One of the girls delivered her first baby lamb. Brilliant!

It was the height of lambing time and really got across the skills and life and death job shepherding is. The Owens had to take on board the sadness of quite a few dead lambs as well as the joys of all the new lives. The best bit was the rescue of the lamb and using the oven as an incubator and helping him survive. What an amazing jog.

Roll on the next series!





Better to burn out than fade away


Happiness is…Our Yorkshire Farm & Gardner’s World


Failed my art exam by using the wrong pencil

It just wasn’t 2B!


Love is…tea for two

5 Things To Be Grateful For During Lockdown/Coronavirus

We are grateful  Lockdown gives us  a time…

  1. A time for Our Yorkshire Farm…A time for repeats of Line of Duty.
  2. A time for Our Yorkshire Farm…A time for Gardener’s World.
  3. A time for Amanda and Clive Owen and their 9 children…A time for Monty Don by himself
  4. A time for lambs to be born spritely and full of life…A time for a lamb not to make it through birth.
  5. A time for over 2.23 million viewers…A time for 2.22million viewers
  6. A time for Channel 5…A time for BBC 2


DAY 143        16 Times – 144 Feet              Cumulative Total 21,303 Feet




  1. Summer (The First Time)
  2. Remember (Walking in the Sand)
  3. Surf City


©2020 Phil M Robinson