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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

The Fast and the Farmer-ish returns with a brand new set of super-sized challenges

Group of young people in old barn beside tractor

The big wheels are back as six teams from across the UK aim to plough their way to victory in the ultimate test of tractor driving skill.


Hosted by full-time farmer and social media star Tom Pemberton, The Fast and the Farmer-ish series two returns with a brand new set of super-sized challenges created by Games Master Jimmy and his team of engineers to test skill, creativity and nerve.



The competition is tougher than ever, with this series seeing all the rival teams battling it out at the Fast and the Farmer-ish paddock in Ballymoney, County Antrim to steer clear of the dreaded “tractor-off” elimination at the end of each episode.


Tom Pembrrton beside old blue Ford tractor

Tom Pemberton says:


"I can't wait for everyone to see series two! It's bigger, better, and even more challenging. We throw absolutely everything at our teams, from lasers, to massive catapults and wrecking balls!


"The rivalry between our competitors is something else and it does get heated at times because these young farmers take their tractor skills seriously and it really shows. For the first time I take on some of the challenges for myself and was under a lot of pressure to perform, but you’ll have to watch to find out how I do. Bring on the madness!"



As the teams are whittled down, two compete in the episode five final, with the winners crowned best in their field. In the ultimate grand final challenges, reversing prowess and a steady hand are required by the winning team, to drive off with the Fast and Farmer-ish trophy.


The Fast and the Farmer-ish trophy

In the concluding episode Tom Pemberton looks back on the highs and lows of the series and gets behind the wheel to take on some of the challenges himself.


The Fast and the Farmer-ish is an Alleycats production for BBC Northern Ireland and BBC Three made with funding from Northern Ireland Screen. It will air on BBC Three at 9pm on Sunday 1 October and BBC One Northern Ireland at 7.30pm on Friday 6 October.


The full series will be available on BBC iPlayer from Sunday 1 October.


The Fast And The Farmer-ish is part of the BBC’s Across the UK plan, moving content away from London to allow the BBC to better reflect, represent and serve all audiences.



MEET THE TEAMS


The Hokeaholics


Stephen ‘Red’ Martin (27) and Niall Mavitty (27) from Northern Ireland.

Stephen ‘Red’ Martin (27) and Niall Mavitty (27) from Northern Ireland.


There is a saying that young farmers from Enniskillen are, quite literally, a rare breed, and best friends Stephen and Niall are no exception. They love the craic, cows and most certainly - tractors!


Stephen originally from Enniskillen now lives in Armagh and has been farming his whole life, working as a full time contractor. Niall, an Agri Mechanic, is cool and calm under pressure, while Stephen admits to being as ‘thick and short tempered as they come’.


Asheep at the Wheel


Rob McGregor (25) and Josh Painter (19) from Scotland.

Rob McGregor (25) and Josh Painter (19) from Scotland.


These fiercely competitive lads say losing isn’t an option, as they would never live it down back home!


Sheep farmer Josh works on his family's farm in The Shetland Islands and says his experience of farming is a million miles away from ‘posh English crop farmers down South’ - who he thinks have it easy. He would love to get the win for the Scots.


Rob is from a small village on the Dumfries and Galloway border, and helps run his father’s sheep farm. Rob is coming to the end of his first year studying agriculture at Oakridge Agricultural college where he met fellow ‘loudmouth’ sheep farmer Josh.



Nae Guts, Nae Glory


Will Dornan (34) and Becky Dornan (25) from Scotland.

Will Dornan (34) and Becky Dornan (25) from Scotland.


Becky works as a HGV driver while brother Will runs his own small farm in Lanark.


These tractor-mad siblings have farming in the blood and as youngsters had tractor toys, books and posters. As soon as they were tall enough to touch the pedals, they were out in the fields with their father. They still have the old David Brown tractor that they learnt to drive on as children - although she has definitely seen better days!


Brothers in Farms


Tom Ablitt (21) and Ben Ablitt (31) from Wales.

Tom Ablitt (21) and Ben Ablitt (31) from Wales.


These brothers are always up for a laugh but make no mistake they want the win… especially if it means getting one over on some English farmers!


Tom loves dairy farming, but is not so keen on the sheep who also inhabit his farm. He currently sports a ‘fashion mullet’ that brother Ben cut for him and considers himself a bit of a trend setter.


Big brother Ben works on an organic beef farm in the Welsh countryside. Any quieter moments he has are filled working as a forestry contractor and tree surgeon. Ben thinks he should excel with accuracy and precision based challenges, whereas speed merchant brother Tom is the man for challenges that require a fast finish.


Blonde Bandits


Sophie (28), Megan Ellett (22) and Sarah ‘Baz’ Riley (21) from England.

Sophie (28), Megan Ellett (22) and Sarah ‘Baz’ Riley (21) from England.


Taking no prisoners and being no wallflowers - these women have heard it all before when it comes to ‘women drivers’ - and have a thousand cheeky comebacks ready and waiting for any loudmouth lads!


Sophie admits to being totally obsessed with tractors. Despite driving tractors for fun, it was only last year that Sophie started working as an agricultural contractor and regrets not becoming a professional tractor driver sooner in life.


Best friend Megan is from pure farming stock and was out in the fields with her father and Grandfather from the moment she could touch the pedals. Now working as an agricultural contractor on local farms in the area, Megan still gets the call from her Dad to come and help out on the cheap.


When the sun shines there is hay to be made and work commitments force Megan to leave the competition, she is replaced by Sarah who describes herself as noisy and fun. Sarah started farming aged 15 when she got a job rearing calves and this animal loving lady says her biggest strengths are reversing into sheds and putting the foot flat to the mat to reach that finish line!



No Smoke, No Poke


Jack Hatt (23) and Liam Birnie (21) from England.

Jack Hatt (23) and Liam Birnie (21) from England.


What these loveable tractor ‘supergeeks’ don’t know about tractors, simply isn’t worth knowing!


A general agricultural contractor based in Hertfordshire, if it has a motor or needs fixing - Jack is your man. He is a lifelong tractor nerd - so much so that his friends have called him Tractor Boy since school.


Jack and Liam have been friends for six years, when they met at agricultural college. Liam has family and family friends who work in farming and from his young teens knew that he wanted to be involved in agriculture. He gave up working on farms a year ago to work with the local tractor dealership and put his encyclopaedic knowledge of tractors to better use.


Liam still misses being out in the fields a bit - but now gets to drive the latest and most exciting tractors - and is lucky enough to get paid to do it!



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