Countryfile presenter Matt Baker has said he never thinks of himself as a celebrity – and is more likely to strike up a conversation with his fans than they are to approach him.
The TV star, who also hosts The One Show, said he feels he has a special relationship with his viewers because he is in their homes so often.
He told the Press Association: “With The One Show, I’m sat in their lounge every night at 7 o’clock and I do very much have a feeling that I am a connection to their rooms that they are watching from and if they watch you, they are almost inviting you in.
“So you want to give them something good and I feel a real responsibility about that, and all the programmes that I make. All I ever want to do when they open the door and welcome me in is to give them something of value.
“That is where a lot of my drive has come from.”
He continued: “It goes back to where I’ve grown up, where I live everybody talks to everybody and it’s like a community.
“People who like to watch me or hear me talk, I feel like they are part of my community. Over the garden fence, you want to talk, you want to chat, you want to say, ‘this is going on’. For me it’s very open. I never think of myself as a celebrity at all.”
Baker said people often ask him for recommendations for where to go for a weekend away or want to ask him about a recent interview, adding: “It’s not intrusive. When I was up north, everyone talks.
“When I moved down to London for the first time for Blue Peter, I lasted weeks in the middle of London because I couldn’t bear it.
“I’ve only been a few months in my life without a flock of sheep. The first thing I needed to do was move out and get some sheep and a dog but what I found oddest was people don’t talk to each other.
“I found it really strange. I talk to more people than they come and talk to me, weirdly.
“I love to chat to people and I don’t care who it is. I will often be the person who starts a conversation than avoid one.”
Baker’s fans will get a chance to strike up a conversation with him when Countryfile Live returns to Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire in August.
Tickets for the show, which runs from August 3 to 6, are available from www.countryfilelive.com.