John Craven ‘worried’ Countryfile’s life-changing condition would affect his job

The presenter first noticed that his hearing was struggling about 15 years ago. What “frustrated” Craven the most was not that he thought people were mumbling when they weren’t, but that he was losing his ability to hear nature.

Craven told Wise Living Magazine: “Outside I didn’t hear much of the softer sounds of nature that everyone else heard. All very frustrating.

“I used to fool myself that I had developed ‘selective hearing’, but the truth was that I became a little deaf.

“I have to admit that when I first started experiencing hearing loss, I was concerned because Countryfile is very much about the sounds, but also about the sights of nature.”

After a routine checkup, he was told his hearing had declined by about 20 percent since his last checkup, he wrote in a Daily Mail article.

At first, Craven’s response was only to accept the fate of his deafness.

“I forced myself to face the fact that, like one in six people in the UK, I suffered from hearing loss,” he told the Mirror.

“That’s about 11 million, with two-thirds of us over 60.”

But he didn’t stay long with this answer.


According to NICE, hearing loss can result in relationship problems with family and friends, as well as problems with social engagement.

Craven described how he got his first BBC presentation job because of his ‘cheek’.

Writing for the Daily Mail, he said: “‘Can I try?’ I asked to be informed that the team had spent weeks selecting the right candidates.

“But they must have liked my cheek, because at the end of their long day they had a few minutes for me.

“I got the job and that led to ‘John Craven’s Newsround’ [which first aired in 1972]†

“Seventeen years later I left Newsround to look for work in ‘adult’ TV.

“I didn’t know there was a search for a host of a new show about rural affairs called Countryfile. Again, luck was on my side and I’m still here, three decades later.

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