UTV, the ITV broadcaster and production company in Northern Ireland, has commissioned a second series of Rare Breed – A Farming Year for its local output.
UTV is one of only two ITV companies which continue to operate outside of the England and Wales ITVplc ownership, the other being STV in Scotland which operates two regions. Remaining independent of the London-based ITV ‘national service’ allows for UTV and STV to continue to provide more local interest programming such as UTV’s farming series Rare Breed.
The second series will see new farms, new families and new stories – plus Rare Breed will also revisit some familiar faces from the first run of episodes. From arctic winter weather and torrential rains to record summer temperatures, UTV cameras have been out in all weathers and on every type of farm to bring the very best of Ulster’s farms and farming families.
Coming from a farming background myself, I was delighted that the first series of Rare Breed in 2012 proved a tremendous success with viewers – regularly attracting more than 200,000 viewers. This new series builds on that success, showing the highs and lows farmers experience in what is one of Northern Ireland’s most important industries. – Michael Wilson, Managing Director, UTV Television
The series is produced for UTV by local independent production company Crawford McCann. Running to the same format as the first series there are twelve programmes in total, with each representing a calendar month in the farming year.
Filmed throughout 2013, we see how 17 families try to survive one of the toughest farming years in living memory. Working hand in hand with nature and the weather we see how young and old share in this seasonal rhythm that brings food from the soil to the kitchen table.
Right across Northern Ireland we’ll see the breeders of pigs, poultry, sheep, and cattle; the growers of the grain and grass and the producers of eggs, fruit and vegetables. We’ll discover how our local produce is a now global commodity worth tens of millions to our economy and providing jobs for many of thousands of people. – Kelda Crawford McCann, Executive Producer
Sponsored by Irwin’s Bakery Rare Breed – A Farming Year starts on UTV tonight, Monday 13 January, at 8pm and runs until March.
[Pictured: Dairy farmers, Drew and Valerie McConnell from Co Tyrone (front) help celebrate the launch UTV’s new series of Rare Breed – A Farming Year. Also pictured are (back, left to right) Veronica Cunningham, producer/director Rare Breed; Michael Wilson, Managing Director, UTV Television and Kelda Crawford McCann, Executive Producer, Crawford McCann.]