Adam Henson, farming correspondent for BBC1’s prime time show Countryfile, visits Jaffe and Neale Bookshop, Chipping Norton on Wednesday, June 15 at 7pm to sign copies of his memoir, Like Farmer, Like Son.
The autobiography is the moving account of Henson’s life and a tribute to his father Joe, who inspired his passion for farming. With upwards of eight million viewers following his agricultural adventures each week, Adam has become the face of British farming and his Cotswold home is the most famous farm in Britain.
Agriculture and show business may seem like unlikely bedfellows but for Henson, as for Joe, they are the twin poles that have defined his life.
In the 1940s and ‘50s, Joe chose to become a farmer, a very different career path to his thespian parents. Joe was the son of stage and film star Leslie Henson. His brother Nicky Henson did follow the family profession and is now a well-known actor, married to Marguerite Porter, once a prima-ballerina.
Joe overcame a serious stammer to become a regular broadcaster on Country Matters. And alongside his TV outings, by sheer grit and determination, he became the saviour of Britain’s rare breeds. He even put his business and his reputation at stake to open the world’s first Farm Park.
Here, for the first time, Adam reveals the family traits and childhood experiences which have made him the man he is today. Treasured private photographs and long-hidden love letters help him trace the ups and downs in the lives of three generations of Henson men and how their relationships helped and hindered them.
As he trawls the family archive and discovers his own bloodline, Adam learns to understand and appreciate the famous grandfather he never knew and pays tribute to the wonderful father he has lost last autumn.
“People say “Like father, like son”, and the story of my life has mirrored my father’s to a quite uncanny degree. Right from when I was a little boy, he was my rock, my mentor, my hero. It is no exaggeration to say that he taught me virtually everything I know about both country life and television. Without him, I certainly would not be doing what I am today.”
Adam Henson presents Adam’s Farm on Countryfile from his 650-hectare farm in the Cotswolds. Having studied agriculture at college, Adam took over Bemborough Farm from his father. The management of the farm includes commercial sheep, wheat, spring barley and oilseed rape but also includes the UK’s leading rare breed collection. Cotswold Farm Park (www.cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk) attracts over 70,000 visitors a year and also loans its sheep, cows, pigs and oxen to film sets and advertisements.
Adam presents Lambing Live with Kate Humble, writes for Countryfile magazine and has appeared on Radio 4’s On Your Farm and Farming Today. He has a long heritage in TV - his father, Joe Henson, presented Animal Magic with Johnny Morris, his grandfather, Leslie, was a comedian and his uncle, Nicky Henson, has appeared in Faulty Towers, Inspector Morse and Downton Abbey.