Ben Fogle, 46, has spoken out about Matt Baker’s, 41, unexpected announcement that he will be leaving The One Show in 2020. The small-screen star, who has fronted the show for nine years, struggled to hold back tears when he shared the news with viewers earlier this month.
However, Ben, who used to work alongside Matt on Countryfile, admitted he wasn’t “shocked” about his decision to quit the BBC programme.
He went on to explain the TV personality was “sensible” to make the move “while he was ahead” and still enjoying the role.
In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Ben said: “I don’t know all the details, I know Matt of course, we’ve worked together over the years.
“I think actually it’s probably a very sensible decision.
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“I think you quit while you’re ahead in this business and I think too many people carry on beyond their own happiness and they just miss that sweet spot and I think Matt left in a sweet spot.”
Speaking about his colleague’s success on the show, he added: “Everyone loves him, he loved the show and I can’t imagine doing the same show every night for whatever it was, nine years.
“Surely you want a couple of evenings off so I can totally imagine.
“So no it didn’t shock me at all, I thought it sounded like a very sensible decision with the information that I have.”
“I got involved originally through the story that the BBC and the government, who is the main culprit here, were no longer going to give free TV licenses to the over 70s and I felt compelled to stand up to what is becoming an increasingly marginalised community, the elderly.
“I think society is not caring for the elderly as we should so that’s why I got involved with Age UK and I obviously made a commitment that I would donate my entire BBC Animal Park salary for the year towards helping those who couldn’t afford a license to get one.”
He continued: “I’ve formed a relationship with the charity and I was brought up with old fashioned values, I don’t think they should be called old fashioned, but I was always brought up to respect and revere our elders.
“The elderly are not a burden, they’re not boring and they shouldn’t be invisible.”
Reflecting on his time at the lunch, the Animal Park host divulged: “There was a beautiful spirit there.
“There were people from every background, every race, and religion and they were all sharing a lovely lunch together and being happy in each other’s company.
“There was no looking over shoulders and looking at phones, I felt humbled to be there and it was great fun.”
Ben Fogle is supporting Age UK’s No one should have no one to turn to campaign, for more information or to donate visit: www.ageuk.org.uk/noone.