Matt Baker gives personal insight into time with Queen

Countryfile: Matt Baker introduce show at Hadrian's Wall

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Countryfile star Matt Baker has described how he made a surprising connection with the Queen when they first met due to their shared love of animals. The former Blue Peter presenter described how the “tone of their encounter changed” completely as soon as they got onto the subject of dogs.  

Matt, 44, spoke about the Queen’s love of animals back in May in an article he wrote for Countryfile Magazine.

The star described how animals “can be a great leveller” for anyone, regardless of background.

“I don’t think there’s anything more levelling than animals; they simply don’t care who we are or where we are from,” he reflected.

He went on to note that the Queen’s most recent portrait featured “two beautiful white fell ponies”.

The star then explained that he was not surprised by this, as he had borne witness to the Royal Family’s love of animals in the past.

“Behind the curtain of ceremony, I’ve been lucky enough to experience the Royal Family’s passion for animals first-hand,” he wrote.

“I remember my very first meeting with the Queen; as soon as we got on to the subject of my Blue Peter dog Meg, and the fact that I grew up on a farm, the tone of our encounter changed sharpish.

“The Queen was fascinated to hear how, as a working sheep-dog, Meg coped with the Blue Peter studio. Our monarch just got it and understood my challenges dealing with Meg’s herding instincts.”

Matt also recalled taking one of the Queen’s fell ponies for a walk around the lawns of Windsor Castle.

He even claimed to have delighted in mucking out the pony’s stable, calling it his “ultimate claim to fame”.

Matt is a true animal lover with a farming background and has presented Countryfile since 2019.

He started his television career with Blue Peter, where he presented between 1999 and 2006.

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He then went on to present The One Show for ten years between 2010 and 2020 with co-host Alex Jones.

Matt’s most recent show for Channel 4, Matt Baker: Our Farm in the Dales, features the whole family and takes place on an organic sheep farm in the Durham hills.

The presenter has been married to physiotherapist Nicola Mooney since 2004 and the couple share two children.

Matt was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2022 New Year Honours for charitable and voluntary services to fundraising.

On Thursday, September 8, it was confirmed that the Queen had died at the age of 96.

In a statement, Buckingham Palace said the monarch had died “peacefully” at her Balmoral estate, surrounded by close family.

The new King Charles III ascended the throne immediately after his “beloved” mother’s death and paid tribute to her, saying that it had been “a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family”.

A state funeral will take place for the Queen on September 19 in Westminster Abbey.

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