Britain’s much-loved sheepdog trial is being given a Red Nose Day twist as comedians Tim Vine and Kiri Pritchard-McLean head to the Welsh countryside to take on Countryfile’s annual competition, One Man and His Dog.
The first ever One Red Nose and Their Dog competition will see the comedians given a shepherding training masterclass with top handlers and their sheepdogs before they put their newfound skills to the test in a bid to be crowned champions of a one-off Red Nose Day special. The training special will air during Countryfile on Sunday 6th March.
In preparation for the challenge, the pair were trained by two of the UK’s finest sheepdog trialists and their champion sheepdogs. In Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, Tim Vine was trained by Nij Vyas and his sheepdog, Mist; while in Corwen, North Wales, Kiri Pritchard-McLean was trained by her Welsh compatriot, Aled Jones and his sheepdog, Glesni.
During the Red Nose Day Countryfile special, viewers will be taken inside Tim and Kiri’s training camps as they set out to master their Come-Bye from their Away commands whilst attempting to navigate a herd of sheep around an obstacle course, all with the help of their new canine friends.
Taking what they’ve learnt from their training, the pair then head to North Wales to go head-to-head in a winner takes all shepherding trial that will be shown a few days later, on Red Nose Day’s night of TV on BBC One on Friday 18th March.
Viewers will also be shown how donations to Red Nose Day support people living incredibly tough lives in the UK and around the world. The Countryfile special will feature a film from Stable Life, an organisation based in the Scottish Borders, which combines equestrian sport and therapy to support young people with their mental wellbeing and self-belief by building resilience, social skills, and confidence through their Healing Hooves programme.
Tim Vine said: “Sheepdog training is, unbelievably, something I’ve always wanted to do. It’s just so different from anything else I’ve tried, and it’s given me the chance to spend time with such a beautiful and intelligent dog, Mist. Being asked to do it all for Red Nose Day, which raises huge amounts of money for such brilliant causes, was the double whammy for me, and it’s something I shall remember as long as I live…even if Mist does forget me quite quickly.”
Kiri Pritchard-McLean said: “Listen, I’m Welsh, I’m a farmer’s daughter, and I grew up watching Countryfile’s One Man and His Dog, so it’s safe to say there was pressure on my shoulders coming into this competition to do my nation proud. Does that give me the edge over Tim, who knows? Ultimately though, it just feels really special to be doing this for Red Nose Day, which without sounding too overly romantic, has always given me a real sense of pride in people who are coming together with a common goal to raise money for such incredible causes.”
Money raised by Red Nose Day will support vital life changing work in the UK and around the world which includes tackling homelessness, domestic abuse, poverty and mental health problems.
Viewers can watch Tim Vine and Kiri Pritchard-McLean’s One Red Nose and Their Dog training on Countryfile on Sunday 6th March on BBC One. The competition and the winner will be revealed soon after on the Red Nose Day night of TV on Friday 18th March on BBC One from 7pm.