Channel 4 has commissioned River Cottage Reunited from Keo Films, bringing back the Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall franchise.

Commissioned by Anna Miralis the four by one hour series is set to return to More4 in a new post-pandemic era, as  more people are embracing wild places and local food, and seeking to move towards a more natural, plant-led diet. It’s an ethos that Whittingstall has championed since the first River Cottage shows over two decades ago.

Miralis says: “The original shows have spawned dozens of imitators down the years, and so we are proud to bring back the original and best.”

The show will reopen the doors of River Cottage HQ, in East Devon and Whittingstall will also be kick-starting a campaign to protect our woodlands by getting more venison on our plates.

Throughout the hour-long programmes, viewers will be shown how to grow, prepare and cook fresh  food, from the fruit and veg in the garden, wild ingredients in the hedgerows and woods, sea vegetables on the shore and fish and shellfish out at sea.

The series also emphasises the need to clean up our rivers to promote biodiversity and enjoy the health benefits of wild swimming, to sourcing more sustainable ingredients such as mussels and seaweeds, and make better use of undervalued fish.

River Cottage regulars include forager John Wright and fire-cook Gill Mellor.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall said: “It’s brilliant to be back doing what I love the most: gathering the very best ingredients from land and sea, meeting inspiring growers and producers, and making delicious food to share with friends and neighbours. It’s a life we’ve all been missing and it’s time to recognise and celebrate just how much it can do for us to live and cook a little closer to nature.”

KEO Films executive producer, Andrew Palmer, said: “We’ve gone through extraordinary changes over the last two years – an unimaginable difference that none of us could have anticipated. To have River Cottage return is reassuring in itself, but it also brings with it the opportunity for reinventing our cooking and outdoor living. Hugh’s been exploring these issues in his telly shows for over 20 years, but he’s still looking forward for new ways of doing things that make life better and more delicious. This is a series to inspire and comfort in equal measures.”

The series is directed and produced by Michelle Crawley and Richard Hill.

The series will air June 2022.

Pippa Considine

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