TV viewers who fell in love with the BBC series Lambing Live have been learning more about the locally-born farmer’s wife who starred in the programme.
Ex-Garstang High School pupil Kate Beavan, wife of a Welsh sheep farmer, is the daughter of Jack and Patty Benson, of Little Eccleston.
The series, aired earlier this year, resulted in down to earth Kate being shot to national fame, and she says – more importantly – on light being shed on an industry which does not always get the best media attention.
A special programme devoted to Kate’s year-long involvement with the makers of the series was aired on BBC 2 on Sunday.
Kate, who married husband Jim in 1994, also featured in a Radio Times article highlighting the Sunday programme. In it she told her interviewer how she coped with the 70-strong TV production crew arriving at her farmhouse, without fuss or panic.
She explained how she was grateful to the hundreds of farmers and members of the public praising the programme.
She told the TV and radio listings magazine: “The response was overwhelming. Some letters were from farmers thanking us for highlighting the job we all do, but the majority were from members of the public saying how the programme helped them understand more about farming and how they would, now, always try to buy local produce. We are very proud of that.”
Kate also told the magazine: “Because the show went out live we never actually saw any of it, so you exist in this sort of bubble, unaware that people are watching you and talking about you. After it ended Kate Humble (the presenter) bought us rugby tickets for Wales v Italy rugby match at Cardiff as a small thank you.
“When we got to our local station in Abergavenny someone asked to have their picture taken with me, and on the train there was a hen party and the girls insisted on having their photo taken with Jim; he quite liked that.
“Then, as we walked out of the stadium after the match, a group of spectators started chanting ‘We love Lambing Live.’ I just went so red.”
Earlier this year the couple were nominated for champion farmer of the year award and attended what Kate calls a “posh” ceremony at London’s Grosvenor Hotel. They came second, behind Adam Henson the Lambing Live co-presenter and Countryfile reporter.
Feature writer Terry Payne writes: “There’s something about Kate that the camera likes. It is probably just her down-to-earth honesty.”
She has recently appeared on The One Show in an item about a film she’d made on wild boars.
Commenting on the visit to London, her first solo trip to the capital, and her appearance on the show, she said: “The scariest thing of all was the make-up. I said ‘Just give me a natural look.’ Thank goodness I didn’t ask to be glammed up.”
Kate was born at Out Rawcliffe in 1968. She attended Copp CE and Garstang High schools, then Blackpool and Fylde College before working as a veterinary nurse in Blackpool.
She met Jim via the Young Farmers’ Club after moving to work as a veterinary nurse in Abergavenny. They married in 1994 and have two children, Sam, 11, Celyn Rose 9, who also appeared on the series and on Sunday night’s special programme.”