Kate Humble boasts a 30-year career in television, presenting BBC shows including Countryfile and Animal Park, but she has now unveiled the extent of her struggle to get work. “The landscape is changing and I honestly don’t know whether television is going to be a major part of my life, no part of my life or part of what has always been a bit of a portfolio career, which basically means doing whatever comes along that pays the bills and feeds the dogs,” she agonised.
“TV is a very strange place at the moment. Fifty per cent of freelancers are saying they’re out of work, programmes are just not being commissioned.” The 54-year-old added to Platinum: “It’s been a long-running joke for probably the entire 30 years I’ve been working in television, but in January, [my husband] Ludo will ask me, ‘Is this the last year you’re ever going to work in television?’ and I’ll say, ‘Yes’.
“Then another year goes by and somehow I still seem to be doing it!” The presenter, who lives on a spacious farm in Monmouthshire, Wales, specialises in wildlife and nature shows.
However, she has also taken her show on the road, sharing her experiences in the industry under the amusing title Harassed by Hippos and Battered by Cod: A Humble Way to Make a Living. Kate has had some compelling travel adventures too, including a show called Extreme Wives, which saw her travel to locations like Kenya to explore different lifestyles, such as polygamy.
The star has even been visited at her farm by King Charles, but she hasn’t let that stop her frankness about seeing wildlife as more important than the birth of a Royal baby. “It’s news because the baby will be king one day and I am interested in that but… I would rather look at a bird!” she explained.
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Meanwhile, athough TV work currently seems to be drying up for the anxious star, one area of her life that’s been trouble-free is her marriage.
She attributes her marital bliss with TV producer partner Ludo Graham to opting out of having children – a topic which has caused debate among her followers.
“I think not having [kids] gives you a liberation that parents don’t have,” she explained.
“We don’t have great expectations of each other, either. I don’t expect him to be the breadwinner; he doesn’t expect me to be the mother,” she explained to Woman’s Weekly.
She also shared her aversion to starting a family on the ITV show Lorraine, telling stand-in host Gaby Roslin that she’d known since the age of 14 that her life would be child-free.
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Although she and her husband have much-loved pet dogs, and she has even written a book about the warm relationship between canines and humans, called Friend For Life, she is adamant that she doesn’t have a “maternal gene”.
“I don’t think it’s anybody’s business but I think it’s just easier if I just come out and say, ‘I don’t want [children], I’ve never wanted them.’ I know it sounds dreadful but that’s just how I feel,” she clarified.
Although some women have been shocked by her revelation, others have reached out to thank her after identifying with her stance.
“Women via social media and in the papers [were] saying ‘Thanks for voicing what we feel’, because so many people don’t want kids,” Kate added.
Now, the presenter will be assessing her future in the TV industry, admitting that it “does feel different” these days, and that work options are less frequent than they have been.
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