BBC Countryfile's Ellie Harrison replacement 'identified' as frontrunner emerges following star's exit

BBC Countryfile's Ellie Harrison replacement 'identified' as frontrunner emerges following star's exit

WATCH NOW: Ellie Harrison presents Treasure Hunters

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 20/10/2023

- 10:36

Ellie Harrison has decided to leave Countryfile after 13 years on the show

The race to replace Ellie Harrison has begun after the 45-year-old decided to call time on her 13-year tenure on the show.

Harrison wrote in her farewell announcement that the decision to quit the show was a result of her wanting to spend more time "raising my three wonderful children, growing our family business, and following my own creative calling to produce art of my own making".

Her exit is one of the latest in a long list of stars who've decided to move on to pastures new at the Beeb of late, from Helen Skelton leaving Radio 5 Live earlier this year to Kirsty Wark quitting Newsnight after three decades.

The Beeb is yet to announce who will officially step into Harrison's shoes once her final episodes have aired but that hasn't stopped speculation from emerging in the days after her announcement.

In fact, there's one person who is considered to be the outright frontrunner for the role according to new data obtained exclusively by GB News.

Head of News for, Lee Astley revealed all as he told GB News: "As Ellie Harrison ends her 13-year run on the hugely popular Countryfile, there's already speculation as to who will take over the presenter's role on the show.

Countryfile hosts

Ellie Harrison (second from left) with her Countryfile co-stars


"33-year-old Hamza Yassin has been dubbed the next David Attenborough and his affiliation with the programme sets him as a clear frontrunner.

"Big names in the wildlife world, Ben Fogle and Robson Green have also been tipped for the job, whilst Holly Willoughby has been priced as an outsider, potentially swapping the daytime TV drama for the calmness of Countryfile."

The Strictly Come Dancing winner's odds currently stand at 6/4 with the bookmakers having previously served as a cameraman on the show.

Yassin is head and shoulders above the next name in the race to replace Harrison as the former host of ITV's Countrywise, Liz Bonnin, is second in the stakes with odds of 5/1.

Springwatch's Gillian Burke is an outside shot to land the role at 6/1 while the aforementioned Fogle is priced at 8/1.

Green is a 20/1 outside to land the part while former This Morning host Willoughby looks unlikely to take over from Harrison at 25/1.

However, given Willoughby quit ITV's This Morning earlier this month, perhaps the newfound space in her work diary makes her a shock contender to take on the serenity of the countryside on the BBC show.

Other notable mentions in the running to take over from Harrison according to include weather presenter Keeley Donovan at 8/1, Springwatch's Michaela Strachan at 14/1, and Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain at 33/1.

Hamza Yassin

Hamza Yassin won Strictly Come Dancing in 2022


Yassin's first foray into the spotlight came on the BBC Wildlife Show but he was shot to nationwide stardom when he took part in and won Strictly Come Dancing in 2022.

Alongside his pro partner Jowita Pryzstal, the pair wowed the likes of Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas, Anton du Beke and Craig Revel Horwood week after week on the show and his popularity accumulated in him lifting the Glitterball Trophy.

Whether he'll be the man to fill the void by Harrison remains to be seen.

Harrison has assured fans that while she's leaving Countryfile, they'll still catch her in other work projects.

She cryptically signed off her statement: "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."

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