Our New Dream Farm: Matt Baker's rarely seen wife, 'upsetting' health issue and why he quit The One Show

Matt Baker has been on a star on TV for the past two decades
Matt Baker is back with a new Channel 4 show -Credit:Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

Matt Baker returns with a new episode of Our Dream Farm on Saturday (April 13). The TV presenter leads the Channel 4 show that searches for new tenants for The National Trust's vacant Wallington Estate farm.

The first episode saw the hopefuls get to grips with their new surroundings and, as he posted about the show on Instagram, Matt was flooded with positive feedback from viewers who tuned in. He shared a few of the comments he'd received in a video he posted on his grid, with one follower telling him: "Best Saturday night for TV ages", as another wrote: "So refreshing, make many more please."

The 46-year-old is no stranger to fronting television shows after joining Blue Peter in June 1999, presenting more than 700 programmes and making more than 300 films. He also has been at the helm of BBC One's Countryfile since 2009, spending 15 years bringing the country's most pressing agricultural news to air.

READ MORE: Escape to the Country Jules Hudson's simple reason for leaving London with rarely-seen wife and son

Matt Baker during his last episode presenting The One Show -Credit:Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Matt Baker during his last episode presenting The One Show -Credit:Steve Parsons/PA Wire

But away from the spotlight Matt has struggled with a back injury following a mishap during a pantomime rehearsal that left him with a slipped disc. Speaking to podcast host Gabby Logan, 50, about various aspects of his life, he opened up about his back injury, reports The Mirror.

The host asked Matt, who is a former gymnast, at one point: "Are you still doing backflips?", while he responded: "No, I can't now. I've injured my back." He went on to tease: "This is midlife - talking about your aches and pains!"

He added: "I did my back in. I was doing a panto. I was doing Goldilocks and the Three Bears and we were practising with the stunt chairs, and the chair wasn't set correctly and bang! I went down on my coccyx and it turns out I slipped a disc in my back."

Matt said: "I've done everything I can to try to get it right like through training and rehab and everything. I've had to go do the injections thing…" Gabby then teased that he lives with a physiotherapist, referencing his wife Nicola Baker.

The guest responded on the podcast: "I know, exactly - so we tried all that. Went for the nerve block [injection]." Matt further commented: "I can't tell you how upsetting it is as an ex-gymnast, not to be able to bend forward."

Why did Matt Baker leave The One Show?

Matt Baker quits The One Show after nine years
Matt Baker quits The One Show after nine years -Credit:BBC

In 2019, Matt announced he was leaving The One Show after nine years. His last hosting gig on the BBC programme was back in March 2020.

Matt reportedly decided to leave so he could spend more time with his beloved wife and kids. In a statement he said: “I’m looking forward to having dinner with my family and being able to put my kids to bed.

"I’ve loved that the One Show has been such a big part of my life for the last nine years. It’s been brilliant to showcase the eclectic mix of Britain, meet incredible people along the way and witness so many lives changed with the annual Rickshaw Challenge for Children in Need."

Matt's family life

Matt Baker and Nicola Mooney -Credit:2016 Getty Images
Matt Baker and Nicola Mooney -Credit:2016 Getty Images

Matt married childhood sweetheart Nicola Mooney in 2004. The couple have been together for more than 25 years, and share two children together, a son, Luke, and a daughter called Molly.

Recalling the moment he met his physiotherapist wife Nicola, Matt confessed the best decision he made was plucking up the courage to speak to her at the disco show in Pier 39, Cleethorpes.

He told The Telegraph: "Going up to my wife and saying hello. I was working in a 1970s dance troupe called Disco Inferno when I was 18, touring the nightclubs of the North.

"She was there as a punter and we got chatting. Then I had to perform but I didn't tell her. Weeks went by and I just used to disappear a quarter of the way through the evening. Eventually, she figured out that I was one of the performers."

In an interview with The Express in 2011, the TV host admitted that he was grateful he had met his wife prior to his success in showbusiness. "I'm so lucky that I met my wife Nicola before any of this telly lark started,' he said.

"I knew way back then she was the one and I don't think I could have done all this without her."

Our Dream Farm with Matt Baker starts Saturday, April 13 on Channel 4 at 8pm

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