BBC Countryfile star Ellie Harrison quits show as presenter follows in Helen Skelton's footsteps

BBC Countryfile star Ellie Harrison quits show as presenter follows in Helen Skelton's footsteps

WATCH NOW: Ellie Harrison stars in the BBC's Treasure Hunters

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 18/10/2023

- 15:26

Updated: 18/10/2023

- 16:06

The 45-year-old presenter has called time on her stint on Countryfile

Long-time Countryfile presenter Ellie Harrison has announced she's quitting the BBC show after 13 years.

She cited "raising my three wonderful children" as one of the reasons for the decision, echoing that of fellow broadcaster Helen Skelton, 40, who quit Radio 5 Live back in August to focus on her family.

Harrison made her debut on the long-running nature programme back in 2009 and has lent her talents to a number of other BBC projects including The One Show, The Treasure Hunters, and Secret Britain.

Writing in a column for Countryfile magazine, Harrison opened up on the decision to step down as she penned: "After 13 years, my final column is a fond farewell to Countryfile - I'll miss the people, places and stories.

"Thirteen-and-a-half years after I arrived four hours early for my first Countryfile shoot, which culminated in me commuting up Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) to deliver Matt Baker a sandwich of freshly harvested mushrooms, it has come time for me to bid you farewell.

"It has been a decision I've drawn out, such is the bond with the programme, and boy will I miss the geography field trips."

Ellie Harrison

Ellie Harrison has been a familiar face on Countryfile for 13 years


Harrison delved into the reasons behind her exit as she explained: "I've come to realise that I don't need to navigate to a whole new ocean or even a new sea, but to chart a new course somewhere in these waters - raising my three wonderful children, growing our family business and following my own creative calling to produce art of my own making."

However, she wanted to reassure fans this wouldn't be the last they've seen of her after leaving the BBC show.

"The winds of change are blowing, my hands turn the tiller and I close my eyes to take comfort from Invictus, 'I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.' I'll see you again someday," she cryptically wrote.

Countryfile fans took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to express their sadness at seeing one of the show's best-loved presenters depart.

One fan said on X: "Sad to see you leave Countryfile as I liked you as a presenter but at least now the other presenters (especially Matt) will be able to eat in peace now.

"Good luck for the future and your endeavours and adventures yet to come."

A second added: "Shame #EllieHarrison is leaving, she was my favourite presenter on #Countryfile but I stopped watching when it became so politically biased."

Harrison will now be able to spend more time at her family's home in the Cotswolds alongside her husband Dr Matt Goodman and their three children Red, 13, Lux, 11, and a seven-year-old she hasn't named publicly.

Helen Skelton

Helen Skelton quit BBC Radio 5 Live in August


The latest blow to the BBC's roster of female presenters comes after Skelton similarly decided to leave the network to focus on her family following her split from ex-husband Richie Myler in April 2022.

Skelton said during the final moments of her last Sunday show on 5 Live: "I’m not all right about it but you know, needs must. The juggle is real.

"An eight-year-old with a sideline needs me... That’s it for me on Sundays for now. Thank you for your company over the last year, I’ve loved every minute of our time together on this show."

Skelton and Harrison join the likes of Ken Bruce, Steve Wright and many more stars who've decided to leave the Beeb in recent years.

You may like