Having lived a rock and roll lifestyle as a member of one of the world's most loved bands, Blur bassist Alex James spoke to Chris Brayford about his transition from city dweller to a country farmer.
The band, headed by Damon Albarn, released hit singles including 'Country House' and 'Parklife' as they clashed with Liam and Noel Gallagher's Oasis for chart dominance in the 1990s during what was christened the 'Battle of Britpop'. After falling in love with his wife in the Cotswolds roughly 20 years ago, Alex has found his niche in producing fruit and vegetables as well as cheese for Morrisons and Britpop sparkling wine. He said the popularity of food and cooking programmes such as The Great British Bake Off had helped to stimulate the nation's interest in farming.
He also praised Jeremy Clarkson's impact on farming with Amazon Prime's Clarkson's Farm which had helped garner a wider appreciation for the industry, as well as the public's adoration for his co-star Kaleb Cooper.
Alex now calls Diddly Squat Farm's Jeremy Clarkson a neighbour on his 200 acre Chipping Norton farm which will host this year's Big Feastival - combining Alex's love of food, music, and good times. Listen to how Alex diversified his farm, organising a festival which is expected to welcome more than 30,000 people, Mitchelin star chefs, comedians and musicians such as Rick Astley, Tom Grennan, Blossoms and Sigird all headlining the three-day event during the August bank holiday.
And with Farm 24 2023 a huge success, the Farmers Guardian team look back at the event which garnered support from farmers and celebrities, including Radio 1's Greg James, Radio 2's Sara Cox, Countryfile's Adam Henson and JLS star JB Gill