Television presenter Jeremy Clarkson – who has recently embarked on a side career as an Oxfordshire farmer – has been declared the English National Farming Union’s ‘Farming Champion of the Year’ for his vocal support of the sector over the past year.

The former Top Gear presenter, who took over the reins of his 1000-acre farm in the Cotswolds almost two years ago, invited millions of members of the public to watch him struggle through his first year in agriculture through the popular show ‘Clarkson’s Farm’.

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The eight part series, shown on streaming service Amazon Prime, led to viewers praising his outspoken views on the bureaucracy and red tape which burdens the industry. Mr Clarkson has also been a strong supporter of the NFU’s Back British Farming day and echoed its call for UK food self-sufficiency not to slip below 60% – and went further, calling for government to make 80% self-sufficiency a target.

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ENFU president Minette Batters said: “When it comes to recognising someone who has done their best to showcase British food and farming over the past 12 months, no-one has earned this award more than Jeremy Clarkson. His show has really resonated with the public, brought alive the ups and downs of our industry to a huge new audience, and transported British farming into the living rooms of families across the country.

“It’s been such a challenging time for British farming over the past 12 months; as key workers our farmers have kept shelves stocked with British food and dealt with extreme weather events,” she continued. “Now, they are battling labour shortages, supply chain disruption and rising costs, which are causing severe problems for essential food producing businesses.

“Through all of this, Jeremy Clarkson has been a vocal champion for the British farming industry. His enthusiasm comes through in spades and his overwhelming and continued support for the NFU’s Back British Farming campaign makes him a very deserving winner of this prestigious award,” she concluded.