TV ex­tra DJ Cox ‘like an over-ea­ger best friend’ in new dat­ing show

The Herald Magazine - - ARTS | TELEVISION -

GEMMA DUNN

SARA Cox is re­call­ing the time she played match-maker. “There was some­body on Twit­ter called Ross and he fol­lowed me – this was a few years ago. I used to chat with him and ban­ter with him be­cause he was hi­lar­i­ous – and there was a young lady who saw him ban­ter­ing and also thought he was pretty funny, so she started fol­low­ing me.

“She tweeted him and they got chat­ting and now they’re on their sec­ond child – they got mar­ried and ev­ery­thing and I kind of brought them to­gether,” says Cox, 43. “They live in Cum­bria. Ross and Amy!”

The DJ is talk­ing up her Cupid-like skills be­fore her new BBC Two show, Love in the Coun­try­side. Cox, who grew up on a farm, hopes to help eight ru­ral dwellers from across the UK find love with city folk seek­ing their per­fect part­ner – and a dif­fer­ent life­style.

It’s a role the Bolton-born mother-of-three was keen on. “You live vi­car­i­ously through your sin­gle friends, as it’s al­ways fun to hear about their ad­ven­tures in sin­gle­ton life.

“It ap­pealed to me to help peo­ple find love, but also the coun­try­side dy­namic to this show is so in­ter­est­ing. It’s a com­pletely new an­gle.”

Of the feel­good part, Cox adds: “I am the pre­sen­ter but I kind of keep pop­ping up like a slightly over-ea­ger best friend or an an­noy­ing sis­ter.

“The peo­ple that I’m chat­ting to, they’re so lovely, but it’s my job to try and get out of them what they’re re­ally think­ing and how they’re re­ally feel­ing.

“To quote Es­ther Rantzen,” she laughs. “She said – and she’s been wid­owed for many years and is dat­ing again – ‘I’ve got lots of peo­ple to do lots of lovely things with, but I just want some­body to do Love in the Coun­try­side’s Sara Cox vows: ‘There’s not go­ing to be biki­nis or bad lan­guage or drunk­en­ness or fight­ing or drama’ noth­ing with’. And I think that re­ally sums it up.

“It’s that get­ting in, putting the telly on, watch­ing The Ap­pren­tice or what­ever and hav­ing a brew. Just hav­ing some­one there with you on the couch or sit­ting up in bed.

“Our sin­gle­tons on Love in the Coun­try­side, they’re re­ally ded­i­cated to their farm but they need a part­ner – [some­one] who is go­ing to be there to sup­port them and share their ad­ven­tures. I don’t think they’re the sort of peo­ple to want to swipe left or right on Tin­der. They’re look­ing for a lit­tle bit more

Bri­tain in Bloom (BBC2, 6.30pm)

The om­nipresent Chris Bavin (he also turns up later this evening as a judge in Bri­tain’s Best Home Cook over on BBC One) jour­neys to deep­est Oxfordshire, where a group of grand­par­ents are tak­ing on big busi­nesses in Gor­ing-on-Thames in the hope of win­ning a Gold award. Their aim is to trans­form the lo­cal train sta­tion, a util­i­tar­ian and un­invit­ing space, but to do so they must gain the per­mis­sion of the train com­pany that runs it. They also want to “green up” the pathway from the car park to the high street, be­fore fill­ing the vil­lage cen­tre with hang­ing bas­kets and troughs. But can they get the nec­es­sary pa­per­work signed to make their dream a re­al­ity?

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