12 March 2009, 10:23
Paul Heiney was born 20 April, 1949 in Sheffield, Yorkshire. He has been a television reporter for over twenty years, and is perhaps most remembered for his stint as a presenter on popular series, That's Life!
He has worked on In at the Deep End, The Travel Show, Food and Drink and, on BBC Radio 4, You and Yours. More recently he has presented BBC1's consumer affairs programme Watchdog.
In 1990, he decided to transform his life, by indulging his passion for the countryside and taking on a traditional farm in Suffolk where he lives with his wife Libby Purves. For ten years he worked 36 acres (150,000 m2) with Suffolk Punches. He wrote a diary of his activities for The Times as well as several books. He also presented two videos about farming with horses, Harnessed to the Plough and First Steps to the Furrow, working with his mentors, Roger and Cheryl Clark.
Paul had agreed with his wife, fellow broadcaster and writer Libby Purves, that they should have the farm for no more than ten years.True to his word, Paul has moved on, trying to make more time for his other great passion, sailing. He has also presented A Victorian Summer for Anglia Television, eight half-hour programmes about traditional farming: the glory of working the land with horses as well as the rigours and difficulties that Victorian farmers faced.
"Working the land", says Paul, "is about the people who labour on it, so I hope we capture some of the richness of character which defines the countrymen and women of the eastern counties. They remain, for me, farming heroes."
In 2005 he took part, in the family boat, in the single handed transatlantic OSTAR race, and wrote an account of the race's history and his own slow crossing in "Last Man Across The Atlantic". He did not, however, quite manage to come last. He was second last.
Paul's enthusiasm, knowledge and passion for country life, makes him the perfect presenter for Countrywise. Join him, as he highlights some of the most idyllic and rural parts of Great Britain's landscape, every Thursday on stv, 7.30pm.
Last updated: 12 March 2009, 17:46