If you’ve been watching Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast, you’ll know how well Jimmy Doherty and best pal Jamie Oliver work together to create the most bespoke and delicious dishes. However, Jimmy hasn’t always been an established presenter, despite his relationship with Jamie going way back to when they were both two. We speak to Jimmy on life before hitting the prime time, his incredible pig farm and tourist destination “Jimmy’s Farm” and country vs city life.
How did you make the transition between farming and becoming a television presenter?
It really was by chance – a chance meeting with a producer, which went really well luckily. The link between myself and Jamie Oliver is a very natural one for Friday Night Feast; we’ve been best friends since the age of two and have grown up together. Despite now filming for over half a year, the filming is very much still related to the farm and such issues so I’ve managed to keep a healthy balance there.
What does the average day look like for a farmer?
The thing is, for a farmer, there’s never an average day, especially on Jimmy’s Farm! We have such a broad range of activities and farming so it really does vary. It normally requires an early start due to our livestock. We also have a butchery, educational centre, petting zoo, fishing area, pig feeding, butterfly area, a new reptile and bird centre, farm shop and restaurant, so every day is so different!
Country life VS city life: which do you prefer and why?
I love the countryside, my farm really is my life. I live in the country with my family and after a long day of filming there’s nothing better: even when I do get awoken by our cockerel at 4am! It’s also wonderful seeing my three little girls grow up in the countryside surrounded by animals and nature. That said, I do love the city. I really like the excitement, fun, cosmopolitan side of things from time to time and I film a lot in cities throughout the year.
Can you share your favourite family dinner recipe with us?
My children love free range slow-roasted duck with plum sauce! We also love fish and chips in my house, a classic.
How can parents get their kids to engage more with nature and spend less time on tablets/digital devices?
If possible, take them to local farms: show them the animals, let them pet and feed the livestock so they can start to learn the process. I really do wish schools would bring back farming to the curriculum. Children would learn so much that way, not just about animals but about biology, maths, economics, physics: it’s all very much related. If visiting farms and having your own pets/animals isn’t an option, simple things like growing seeds, having a little herb garden on your windowsill is so important for children. It really does make a big difference.
What can people do to support local farmers?
Eat local food and produce and visit the farm shops. We have some incredible meats, cheeses, dairy, preserves and bakes on our doorstop. Our costal towns have brilliant seafood and our country has some great breweries.
How do you get your daughters involved with farming and healthy eating?
They’ve all been involved from the start which has been a real joy for me. They are all hands-on and love animals, nature and food, which is fortunate! I loved nature, livestock and traditional farming from a young age so it all came very naturally to me. My girls all have their own little vegetable patches; they all go pond dipping, grow seeds and help feed the animals to get them used to the processes.