Countryfile's Ellie Harrison had holes cut in arm to show love for partner

Sarah Knapton
 Ellie Harrison  - BBC

Countryfile presenter Ellie Harrison has revealed she has had circular marks etched into her arm to show her devotion to her partner of 12 years.

Harrison, 39, had the procedure called scarification carried out on her left forearm, a mutilation which she admitted 'shocked' her other half. 

She told the Mail on Sunday's Event Magazine: "You go to someone who is into body art and you get it done. There are only a few places you can go for it in the whole country."

"They're done with a blade. We're not married, but this was my great offering to him. Obviously if he leaves me I'll have to create a different story about what it's about!"

Asked if the procedure was painful, she said: "Yup, really f**king hurts."

Her partner, doctor Matt Goodman, did not know she was going to have the marks done.

Ellie Harrison 'scarified' her arm to show her love for her partner Credit: Oliver Edwards BBC

She said: "No, he had no idea, so I presented my arm to him in this kind of clingfilm wrap. You have to scrub (the cuts) out and put Vaseline on, then clingfilm to keep the wounds open and clean.

"He was a bit shocked, I must say. He said he was conflicted, because I'd hurt myself in this pursuit, but he was obviously really quite emotional."

The TV presenter said Goodman, with whom she has three children, had previously proposed to her but she "never saw it through".

"I will do one day," she told the magazine, "We just haven't done that bit. We've done the big stuff, the children and the scars!"

Harrison has been a part of the BBC's rural-focused series since 2009 and says the show's success can be attributed to the fact that "most people will have heard of it", as well as its "dream slot on a Sunday night".

She added: "It's sort of hedgerow porn, with lovely green beautiful landscapes and we've got great cameramen who do a brilliant job with that. And I think it's kind of now.

"We film two weeks before so people know it's going to be relevant to what's happening in the countryside. I think the popularity is down to all those things together."

Ellie Harrison during the photocall to open BBC Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace Credit: Joe Giddens/PA

But she said she received 'strange feedback' from the executive producer when she first joined at the age of 32, who told her her flowing blonde hair was 'too present.'

"He had many great attributes, he was a great exec but I don't think he talked about John Craven's very present hair," she said.

Speaking about how few older women were portrayed in the British media, she said: "I think the British media industry is still catching up with America, where they have older women respectable roles; Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart, Diana Sawyer.

"The're not these token roles where they drag someone out and say 'hasn't she still got great legs?!' Which can still happen over here."

Harrison turned down an offer to present Channel 5's children show, Milkshake!, early on in her career, but later ended up stepping in for presenter Michaela Strachan while she was on maternity leave, to front Michaela's Wild Challenge.

She went on to join The One Show and has also co-presented on the BBC's Secret Britain.

Countryfile is on BBC One every Sunday at 7pm.

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