The BBC is to plough more money into its coverage of the countryside by doubling the airtime given to its flagship BBC ONE series Countryfile.
It follows a two year trial when the normal half hour programme was extended to 60 minutes between October and the April.
Now the experiment is being extended year round.
Countryfile has become the most popular Sunday morning TV show in England, regularly attracting more than two million viewers and capturing 23 per cent of all viewing.
Presenter John Craven was awarded the OBE for services to the countryside.
He says: "Over the years, we have helped rural issues climb much higher up the national agenda.
"Now we'll be able to bring the delights, as well as the problems, of the British countryside into homes around the UK for a whole hour every Sunday.
"I know from viewers I meet that the show is held in very special affection by lots of people in suburban streets as well as village lanes. It's thanks to their support that we have now been extended."
John is joined by the other regulars Ben Fogle, Michaela Strachan and Adam Henson for the extended programmes.
The Birmingham-based show plans to expand its award-winning journalism with a new 'insight team' tasked with investigating rural issues.
The programme recently unearthed a scam involving illegally imported veterinary drugs from the Republic of Ireland and has been at the forefront of coverage of Bird Flu, Bovine TB and over-fishing.
Editor Andrew Thorman says: "Countryfile allows you to escape to another world without getting your feet dirty.
"It's life in the raw but it doesn't leave a bad taste in your mouth.
"It's about real people and real issues which affect us all - from the price of a pint of milk to understanding why some farmers want to kill badgers.
"More than 100,000 of us up-sticks and move to live in the shires every year. Countryfile shows you what it'll be like when you get there."
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