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Tom Heap, 54, is a firm fixture on Countryfile alongside Matt Baker, Ellie Harrison, Adam Henson and Anita Rani, among other famous faces. The presenter regularly fronts various segments of the BBC programme and is also a rural affairs correspondent for the broadcaster.

The Countryfile presenter has now spoken candidly about returning to filming for the show amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite the production team following the UK Government guidelines, the small-screen star admitted they suffered a mishap while filming.

It comes as the public has been informed to maintain a two-metre distance in a bid to slow the spread of Covid-19.

Tom opened up about the moment they had to reshoot scenes after being almost “shoulder to shoulder” on-screen amid social distancing rules.

“The demands of socially distanced filming are important but normally in telly people are very close together,” Tom explained.

“Everything on television you tend to err on the side of being closer together and you have less personal space than you would in normal life.”

He continued: “Whereas now, it’s almost a virtual two-metre thing which makes us stay apart.

“It’s important to do it in terms of disease control but also show the audience that we are keeping apart.”

Tom added: “There are times when I’ve filmed something – we’ve done two or three minutes of filming – and I’ve gone, ‘Damn. We were definitely shoulder to shoulder doing that and we’re going to have to do it again.'”

Elsewhere, the investigative journalist has revealed that he often works solo on Countryfile, because the other presenters tend to film at different locations.

“With most of the other presenters we don’t get together much because I’m normally filming in a different location,” Tom explained.

“The two times we definitely do get together is the Christmas special and the other time – which has been a big deal apart from this year – is Countryfile Live.”


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Countryfile Live is a yearly event where viewers get a chance to interact and discuss rural life with the presenters of the BBC programme, but it was cancelled this year following the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “It’s lovely because we get to be together for three or four days, and really get to spend time with the presenters, which is brilliant.”

Despite Tom covering the more hardcore segments of the programme solo, he recently joined forces with his co-star Ellie to front the main show.

The presenter explained: “About five or six weeks ago, I did the main section of the programme with Ellie Harrison.

“I got to have another playmate on telly with Ellie. It was very nice to be out and smile a bit. Not that I don’t anyway.”

He added: “It was good fun while we were in Shropshire and I got to do the opening and closing of the show.”

Tom often appears on the show alongside presenters Matt Baker and Anita Rani.

Countryfile airs tonight on BBC One at 5.45pm.

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