Countryfile viewers threaten to boycott show for perceived 'anti-Brexit bias'

Presenter Tom Heap on Countryfile
Presenter Tom Heap on Countryfile

As TV programmes go, the BBC's Countryfile might not seem like the most likely candidate for provoking political outrage – but Sunday night's episode of the rural affairs show has managed to do just that.

A small but vocal section of viewers have taken to the internet to complain that a section examining what might happen to seasonal migrant farm workers and those who employ them in the wake of the Brexit vote was "leftie, pro-EU propaganda".

Presenter Tom Heap, who hosted the segment in question, was also criticised for being too pessimistic, with one viewer describing him as a "doom merchant".

 

At one point during the section, Heap spoke to a soft fruit grower who warned that restrictions on seasonal migrant workers could affect his business.

"This isn't anything to do with migration or immigration. This is just seasonal workers coming over here, working hard, benefiting our economy and then going home," said the Hereford farmer in question, Anthony Snell.

"There's absolutely no doubt we would be in serious trouble if we didn't have our seasonal workers coming here. We would be out of business. It would be absolutely catastrophic to our industry."

Snell also said that, while he would "love" to only employ British people, there simply aren't enough homegrown workers interested in making a career out of soft fruit picking.

Some pro-Brexit viewers, however, were not impressed with the farmer's argument.

Others felt that the piece was well-balanced, arguing that it in fact did a good job of showing some of the problems that might occur after Britain leaves the EU.

Heap himself, meanwhile, took to Twitter to express his amusement at the fact that, when covering the reaction to the programme, the Daily Express had apparently confused him with fellow Countryfile presenter farmer Adam Henson.

 

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