The star of hit TV show Our Yorkshire Farm on raising nine children and being a bestselling author despite flunking English
Our Yorkshire Farm, now in its fifth series, has been a surprise hit for Channel 5: it’s the broadcaster’s most popular show since 2016. It follows the adventures of 47-year-old Amanda Owen and her husband, Clive, on their 800-hectare (2,000-acre) hill farm, Ravenseat, overseeing a flock of 1,000 sheep (plus ponies, cows and dogs) and nine children. The no-nonsense Owen – who, according to legend, once gave birth at home without waking anyone up – has become the breakout star: she has amassed 183,000 followers on Twitter and has written four bestselling books. Her latest, Celebrating the Seasons With the Yorkshire Shepherdess, is a collection of stories, photographs and recipes.
You didn’t grow up on a farm. Were there many teenagers in Huddersfield in the late 1980s who dreamed of being a shepherd?
No. There was an element of rebellion, I suppose. It’s quite hard to rebel: you had the 80s, when you could do punk, and, in my time, it was being a goth. But when everybody’s doing it, it doesn’t really make that much of a statement. So I guess it was a way of ruffling a few feathers and upsetting everybody. Head off, go and live in a caravan in a farmyard somewhere and become a shepherd! So that’s what I did.