Special Melton episode of BBC Countryfile to air this weekend

Producers in the Melton area are hoping to get a major increase in business on the back of Sunday’s special episode of BBC One’s top-rated Countryfile which is dedicated to the borough’s food and drink heritage.

By Nick Rennie
Wednesday, 16th March 2022, 1:15 pm
Countryfile television presenter Margherita Taylor pictured during filming at Old Dalby-based Nice Pie for the special episode featuring Melton's food heritage EMN-220316-095347001
Countryfile television presenter Margherita Taylor pictured during filming at Old Dalby-based Nice Pie for the special episode featuring Melton's food heritage EMN-220316-095347001

Around six million viewers are expected to tune in at 7pm to enjoy a unique showcase of Melton’s piemakers, cheesemakers and brewers.

Among the businesses which were visited for filming were Old Dalby-based Nice Pie, March House Farmshop at Great Dalby and Round Corner Brewing at the town livestock market.

Matthew O’Callaghan, of the Melton Mowbray Food Partnership, will feature on the programme after helping Countryfile with local contacts.

Countryfile television presenter Margherita Taylor pictured with Phil and Kath Walmsley at their Old Dalby-based Nice Pie site for the special episode featuring Melton's food heritage EMN-220316-095358001

He told the Melton Times: “It’s extremely rare for Countryfile to dedicate practically a whole programme to one town.

“It shows the variety of what we have to offer and I’m delighted our British Pie Awards will also be featuring in it.

“It comes just at the right time when people are thinking about where to go at the start of the tourism season.”

Nice Pie has benefited in the past from television exposure through featuring on programmes involving top chefs Jamie Oliver and Simon Rimmer.

Presenter Margherita Taylor visited the business and helped owners Phil and Kath Walmsley make some of their award-winning pies and learn about how it developed from the family kitchen into a major producer and visitor attraction with a bakery, farmshop and tea room.

Phil told the Melton Times: “The power of TV was shown when Saturday Kitchen mentioned our kangaroo pie and by the end of the weekend we were stripped of all our pies, demand went through the roof.

“I dread to think how much it would cost to have an advert on prime time TV so being on Countryfile is really big for us.

“It will also be great for the other producers on the programme and all the businesses in the Melton area when new visitors come as a result of the show.”

The Walmsley family will be gathered around the television on Sunday evening to enjoy the programme and Phil said the publicity comes at the right time on the back of the economically damaging Covid pandemic.

He added: “It’s been terrible for the entire industry, a very tough time.

“But over the last three weeks it’s slowly coming back and we are hoping things really pick up now.”

Other footage in the programme will see presenters watching Silton cheese being made and sampling beers at the Round Corner site.

The special Melton episode of Countryfile is on BBC One at 7pm on Sunday and will be available to watch on the BBC iPlayer.