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Clarkson’s Farm’s Kaleb Cooper on life in the Cotswolds

Clarkson’s Farm’s Kaleb Cooper: If my kids move to London they can visit me – I’m not going there <i>(Image: Plank PR/PA)</i>
Clarkson’s Farm’s Kaleb Cooper: If my kids move to London they can visit me – I’m not going there (Image: Plank PR/PA)

Farmer Kaleb Cooper says he and Jeremy Clarkson are actually very similar, except he’s not as “useless” as the former Top Gear presenter.

This kind of good-natured drubbing is what fans of the Prime Video series Clarkson’s Farm are used to seeing. Cooper is the breakout star of the documentary, which follows the workings of Clarkson’s 1,000-acre farm in the Cotswolds.

“Annoyingly, I think we’re very similar in a weird way,” Cooper, 25, admits. “I mean, I’m not that useless. I’m quite good with my hands – unlike him.”

Cooper – who was born and raised in Chipping Norton – is currently filming series three of the popular show, where he continues to give no-nonsense advice to farming newbie Clarkson.

He’s keen to stress he’s “not an actor”, adding: “Our chemistry is completely natural. We’re really good friends, apart from the arguing – we may stop talking to each other for a day or two after our argument, but that’s completely normal, we’re used to that. Eventually, we come together and have a cup of tea and we’re fine again, we keep talking about farming.”

Cooper is still very much a working farmer – he chats on a video call hunched behind a hedge, having just hopped off his tractor, saying: “I do apologise if you’re going to hear beeping or tractors or anything like that, but I’m literally in a field.”

He might still be farming, but his life has changed dramatically since the first season debuted in 2021. He’s written two books, had two children and is set to embark on a theatre tour of the UK in 2024.

Great British Life: Caleb has broadened his horizons since becoming a writerCaleb has broadened his horizons since becoming a writer (Image: SO Visual/PA)

Becoming a writer was a particular surprise for Cooper, who admits he’s only ever read three books – two of his own and one of Clarkson’s.

“Books are becoming part of my life now and actually, they’re quite interesting,” he says in mock disbelief.

“You can learn quite a lot about a book – you can get wrapped into one. The only problem is when I’m on a tractor and reading a book and I’m being loaded, for example, and the loader drivers beep at me because I’m not moving anywhere. They get very angry when I get hooked in a book. It’s not good.”

Cooper’s second book, Britain According To Kaleb: The Wonderful World of Country Life, explores some of the weirdest traditions from around Britain – including cheese rolling in Gloucestershire and the wife-carrying race from Surrey.

“There’s a thing called gravy wrestling, who would want to do gravy wrestling? I mean, you get gravy in places where it shouldn’t be – it should be illegal, that should,” Cooper says with a good-natured grin.

Despite his reservations, he “absolutely” would try gravy wrestling himself: “I just don’t know about the cleaning up after, that’s what worries me. No one wants to picture that.”

It’s a tour around the rural Britain in book form, from someone who’s well-known for not wanting to leave Chipping Norton. He’s previously said he got a nosebleed when he travelled to Stow-on-the-Wold – 18 miles way from his hometown – and doesn’t hold back on his hatred of London.

But writing books has started to pique his interest in travel.

“I started Googling places and I was like, I’m missing out on so much on the different stuff that’s going [on] around the world,” he says.

“I haven’t got a passport, I’ve never been on a train, I’ve never been on a boat – I’ve been on a helicopter now, [but] I’ve never been on an airplane.”

Researching places around Britain for his second book opened his eyes: “Scotland – I discovered Scotland! What a beautiful place over the internet. I’d love to go there.”

He’ll explore more of the country in his upcoming theatre tour – even if it means he has to visit dreaded London. Just don’t expect him to pack up and move to the Big Smoke any time soon.

Great British Life: Britain According To Kaleb: The Wonderful World Of Country Life is his second bookBritain According To Kaleb: The Wonderful World Of Country Life is his second book (Image: Quercus/PA)

“Hopefully one day, my little boy and my little girl [will] want to go into farming, but I want them to know if they become an accountant or lawyer [and] they want to go to London – they can come and visit me. I’m not going there.”

Regardless of the opportunities coming Cooper’s way, he always wants to promote the farming industry and encourage younger people to get into it.

A particular moment that sticks in his head was World Book Day last year.

“I had so many parents take pictures of their kids dressed up as me, and the younger generation going: ‘I’m going to be a farmer when I’m older’, I was like, well, I’ve made it. I’ve done it, hold my hands up.

“I’m not from a farming background myself and I thought – if I can help a younger generation get started, that’s what I’ve been put on this planet for.”

The phrase “continuously” stuck in Cooper’s head is: “Dreams don’t work unless you do.”

He says: “I’m doing all this work and I have a dream in my head – I want to own my own farm… I started my business at 13, when I was 16 years old I had become my own boss. At 17 I wanted to have more tractors – I did that. At 18, I wanted to have a team of people working with me, employ people – I did that.

“Now my main goal is to own my own farm.”

Britain According To Kaleb: The Wonderful World Of Country Life is published in hardback by Quercus, priced £20. Available now.



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