Clarkson's Farm, a new TV series on Amazon Prime Video, follows Jeremy Clarkson as he gets to grips with running and managing his own farm in Chipping Norton, in the Cotswolds (launching on Friday 11th June 2021). He's joined by his farming sidekick, Kaleb Cooper, alongside other agricultural experts who are there to show him the ropes.
But who is Kaleb Cooper? Not afraid to put Jeremy Clarkson in his place and share a bit of banter, Kaleb Cooper is Chipping Norton born-and-bred and it's fair to say that farming runs through his veins.
Country Living chatted to Jeremy and Kaleb ahead of the new series. Jeremy describes it as a "love letter to farming" about the nitty gritty of crops and land management, not just cute lambs and bottle-feeding animals.
How did Kaleb come to be on Clarkson's Farm with Jeremy Clarkson?
Kaleb worked on Jeremy's farm when it was run by Gerald, a contract farmer, before Jeremy decided to take it on himself when Gerald retired. Kaleb knows the land like the back of his hand – better than Jeremy, in fact.
"We needed a tractor driver for the series and we looked everywhere," says Jeremy, "I said 'I tell you what, you could look at the guy who's actually doing the tractoring here now anyway.' So we got Kaleb and I think you’ll all agree he’s good on television. He knows his stuff, he’s young, he’s got bad hair – everything was right. Well he's had his hair done today because he knew he was going on..."
"I haven’t had it done! It’s the sun bleaching it," Kaleb interrupts.
Kaleb – What does the farming life mean to you?
"The farming way of life... I can’t describe it to anyone. I love my life. I am very, very happy and I don’t understand why anyone would want to go to London and stay in London, but that’s completely up to them," says Kaleb who, in the programme, shares a story of the one time he did go to London but stayed on the bus because he found it too busy.
"Farming for me is not a job, it’s a way of life. I don’t get up in the morning and think ‘oh I’ve got to go to work, I’ve got to drive to the farm, I’ve got to get in the tractor and put that on there.’ I get up and go ‘right, what am I doing today?’ It’s how excited I get about doing a job. For example, if I know I’m going spraying in three days time I’m thinking 'yes, in three days time I’m going tractoring!'"
Kaleb – What do you love about the farming community?
"The good thing about the farming community is that every farmer wants another farmer to do well, secretly. They are so loyal to each other and farmers want to help each other out as much as they can. Every farmer around here has tried to give you [Jeremy] as much advice as possible."
Kaleb – What's it like working with Jeremy Clarkson?
"You’ve adapted to the farming life as well and you love it as well," Kaleb says to Jeremy, who is quick to reply "I do. I adore it."
"It makes the day 10 times easier when two people enjoy something and can work together," says Kaleb.
Jeremy agrees, saying: "He does give me a hard time but I quite like that. It’s a good working relationship. It's good working on the farm and it's good working on TV. You were here anyway so it’s not even forced."
Jeremy – How important have Kaleb and the rest of the farming team been?
"You couldn’t possibly become a farmer without surrounding yourself with people like Kaleb and Gerald and Charlie. I genuinely believed that you’d put seeds in the ground and then weather would happen and then food would grow and I’d go on a skiing holiday. That’s what I thought farming was [...] I don’t really listen, let's be honest, but at least they were there to come and shout at me when I’d done something wrong."
But Kaleb Cooper likes things done a certain way. Take rapeseed for example...
"Every rape is different obviously. I’ve seen some really bad rape this year while our neighbour has some amazing rape. But all our rape now has come through flowers, it’s levelled itself out, it’s thick. I think a good crop of rape is about what muck spreading you’ve got – chicken muck. I think that’s the best thing a rape field can have. If you’ve got a good spreader with a good amount of chicken muck on there then you’re going to have a good rape field. That’s my personal preference," says Kaleb.
Kaleb – Is there anything about farming you don't love?
"Anything with sheep, I’m not interested in. Cows I am – I did four years as an apprentice on a cow farm and I can do everything in a cow world. With sheep, I don’t understand why people try to make any money, find it enjoyable and not get so stressed you lose your hair."
At this point Kaleb turns to Jeremy and says: "You probably found that out when I said 'don’t get sheep' and you bought sheep." To which Jeremy sighs: "I should have listened to you." Kaleb asks Jeremy to repeat himself just to make sure everyone else had heard his admission.
Kaleb – Can you see a future for yourself in TV?
"That’s a very big question and I’m not really too sure how to answer that. In terms of TV, I’ve loved it. I picked it up so quickly and the crew we had here – I got on with them so well. The camera man is here now laughing going 'yea, yea, yea'.
"Personally I would love to [do more TV] but as long as it's included in the farming side of stuff. I wouldn’t want to do anything that isn’t farming."
To this, Jeremy jokes about the idea of Kaleb appearing on the reality TV show Love Island, to which he says: "No, not Love Island! Maybe I’m A Celebrity. I’d be good on that. But I’m not sure to be honest. We’ll see what the future holds."
Clarkson's Farm launches on Friday 11th June 2021 on Amazon Prime Video.
Looking for some positivity? Get Country Living magazine posted through your letterbox every month.SUBSCRIBE NOW
You Might Also Like