2006 - The Independent:
He lives in a house, a very big house
in the country...
they've topped the charts and filled stadia around the world,
any self-respecting rock star will turn their back on
hedonism, start a family and move to a very big house in the
But Alex James, the erstwhile
bass player in Blur, has gone one better. Not only does he run
a farm, he is about to become the voice of farming for BBC
The musician has landed a new
gig as presenter of the weekly Sunday morning series On Your
Farm after joining the land-owning classes with his 200-acre
James, 38, has a flock of
sheep and a cheese-making operation in the Cotswolds.
Yesterday he confessed there was some irony in his new
vocation: "All these things that I abhorred and shunned and
wrote songs about hating, I'm now embracing."
The BBC admits there may be
pooh-poohing from some sections of the agricultural community,
but Steve Peacock, On Your Farm and Farming Today's executive
producer, said: "I would anticipate there are plenty of
farmers who would sneer at being told about farming by a guy
from Blur, but when they get to know him they'll realise he's
keen and really getting a grip on it."
James has diversified since
Blur's last album Think Tank was released in 2003. While band
frontman Damon Albarn has pursued musical spin-offs such as
Gorillaz, James has combined writing (he is a columnist for
The Independent), radio and farming.
He said: "There is nothing
more grotesque than an ageing, woman-chasing, whisky-swigging
rock'n'roller, so it's been quite dignified, this whole
father-of-threewill be profiled by On Your Farm on 7 January
and takes over as a regular presenter the following week. Also
joining the presenting team are former Channel 4 political
editor Elinor Goodman and TV chef Clarissa Dickson-Wright.