The Farm Report
Report taken from Ritchie-Neville.com
RITCHIE WAS VOTED OFF THE PROGRAMME ON SUNDAY NIGHT 10 OCTOBER AFTER TWO WEEKS. WE CAN ONLY SAY THAT THE TITLE OF 'BEST FARMER' WILL PROBABLY GO TO WHOEVER PUTS ON THE FUNNIEST SHOW FOR THE TV AUDIENCE. RITCHIE DID A FANTASTIC JOB AND WE ARE VERY PROUD OF HIM. WE KNOW HE WANTED TO DO HIS BEST AND HE DID... HIS FAMILY AT HOME WILL BE SO GLAD TO SEE HIM.
The celebrity farmhands: Ritchie, Vanilla Ice aka Rob Van Winkle (American rapper), Margi Clarke (actress & vegetarian), Stan Collymore (ex-footballer), Lady Victoria Hervey (socialite), Rebecca Loos (tabloid celeb), Paul Daniels (magician) - replaced with Terry Christian (TV presenter), Debbie McGee (his ballerina wife & assistant) and Jeff Brazier (reality show veteran & TV presenter).
AN AUDIO MESSAGE FROM RITCHIE - RECORDED 24 SEPTEMBER, AS HE WAS DRIVING DOWN TO WILTSHIRE TO BE ON "THE FARM"
Sun, 26 Sept... Everyone (except Paul and Vanilla Ice who arrived later) were taken by helicopter to a field just outside the farm and dropped off to hoof their way in. Ritchie was the first to arrive at the main farmhouse and immediately found the cute little kittens in the kitchen. Once all the new farmhands got their kits settled in their cozy, ex-barn bunkhouse (ladies sleep downstairs, men up in the loft), Ritchie volunteered to get the fireplace going, citing his camper's expertise. We noticed some of the ladies checking out Ritchie's fit backside as he worked. Today was mostly taken up with getting acquainted with the farm itself and the work they were expected to be doing. We also got an intro to "The Outhouse"... a small private building fitted with a live video camera where farmhands can go and speak to the viewing audience. Again, Ritchie was the first to address the camera, saying he was a little nervous but excited about the whole experience. They were taken around to see all the animals they'll be working with such as Rita the cow, whom they have to hand-milk twice a day. When it came time to feed the piggies, there was Ritchie in the middle of things literally and getting pushed around mercilessly by the porkers. He definitely came out looking the best this first day but Debbie was a surprisingly eager participant...
Mon, 27 Sept... 2nd day on the farm and everyone seems to be getting on well. A lot of learning about the chores of the farm as everyone is still quite new at this. Today Ritchie learned about how to work with beef cattle. The farmhands are becoming comfortable with each other and are beginning to have discussions about all kinds of personal issues and current news. A few lively arguments are taking place with Vanilla Ice being quite loud & aggressive in his views. As Ritchie is a pacifist (anti-war), this gets him very stirred up. Ritchie talks spirituality with Margi and helps prepare dinner with Debbie. Smoking is not allowed in the house so the smokers go outside the kitchen door for a puff. Ritchie, who has been trying to stop, finds himself accepting a ciggie from Margi and joining the others. Fell off the wagon. Ritchie serves red wine to everyone before dinner and is quite the host to all. The celebs are coming out of their shells and we are seeing their true personalities revealed... Tues, 28 Sept... Paul decides to leave, saying the trouble getting the stove to lite and run-ins with Vanilla Ice have taxed him to the max. Debbie and farmer Ryan can't convince him to stay so off he goes.Debbie vows to stay on The Farm even though Paul has gone. Clint the boar has to be helped with his mating duties and Stan offers to lend a hand. Little piggies will be due on about 114 days. Florence the sow successfully delivered 15 hungry piglets. The Farmhands stood around cooing gently, as Flo determinedly popped out one messy little baby after another. "It's a miracle!" declared a wide-eyed Ritchie. Rebecca seems to be taking to the piglets more than anyone else. After being the main reason for Paul leaving, Vanilla (Rob) appears to be relishing his role as chief stirrer. He starts several discussions determined to get everyone hopping but all defer until the evening. Rob pretends to leave with his bags but quickly returns. After a couple of bottles of bubbly, famer Ryan announces the farmhands are ready to begin on their own and the hard work is just starting. The choice of who will be farm manager is looming large for tomorrow...
Wed, 29 Sept... Lady Victoria stays in bed 1/2 the morning & earns the ire of Farmer Ryan.New farm hand to replace Paul, edgy TV presenter Terry Christian causes suspicion among the hands amid rumors he's a spy. Rob gets a bit paranoid. Stan is voted as 1st farm manager with Debbie right behind in votes. Ritchie is Lady V's choice... Today was chicken gutting and plucking. Stan got a freshly-deheaded one and thought it moved in his hands. "It's moving, I swear to God!" he shouted. "It's got no head though," remarked a sceptical Ritchie. Then Ritchie announced "I'll do one," and everyone joined in except Rob and newbie Terry, who both disappeared. Stan seems to be taking his new role as manager very well and tonight's big to-do is now between Rob and Terry, who doesn't appear to back down from anyone or thing in the arguement department...
Thurs, 30 Sept... Vanilla is still laying in bed when the others are are up and about. Debbie is taking her new job as manager very seriously and Stan may think he gave it up too quickly. New guy Terry is proving more unpopular than Rob and appears to be a bit of a slacker too. Stan and Ritchie discuss lack of sex and Ritchie has more than a little to say. "It changes your mental state if there's no outlet... Men always get a bad press, 'Oh, they can't stay faithful...' Not that I can't of course..." Good for Ritchie. The farmhands try to sneak a beer during lunch and get caught again by farmer Ryan. Ritchie is contrite but the others seem to be upset with being told what to do in such a tone. Farm manager Stan decides to give up his job to Debbie as he doesn't like having to deal with all the differing personalities especially Rob and Victoria with all their problems. Debbie is ready to accept and promises to be hard but fair. After a struggle to get Rita the cow seperated from her pregnant yard mate, Fee, the farm hands are all up for a proposed party later tonight... Legendary country musicians The Wurtzels entertain the farmhands and the booze flows freely. The apple cider (scrumpy) is especially potent and both Ritchie & Rob seem to be enjoying letting their hair down more than anyone.
Fri, 1 Oct... Its hangovers all 'round with Ritchie possessing the king of them all. He is sorely embarrassed about his behavior last night.The boys seemed the worst off, staying in bed long after the girls had got up. Debbie and Victoria had a little snigger at the boys' expense, particularly Ritchie's. "He was hammered. He's not allowed beer again," decided Lady V. Debbie agreed the former 5ive member had been rambling senselessly. Says Ritchie, "I need to drink a lot of water, I really do feel like shit." Debbie lets the outhouse have it over not having enuf food and then finding out, all they had to do was ask for more & they would get it. Rob and newbie Stan get into it again about America's place in the pecking order of the world. Everyone else smartly stays out of it. Rob finally has someone as abrasive as he is. New farm manager Debbie lays into the guys after last nights drunken party & keeping the ladies awake. She makes them apologize on their knees and threatens worse if they do it again. Todays farm animal exploits include practicing artificially inseminating a bull, castrating several calves and choosing which young pig had to be slaughtered. On the castrating, just hearing Ritchie say, "Who's on testicle-soaping?" made our day but seeing his sad face at the prospect of one of the farm's young piggies being killed was heart-tugging.
Ritchie in the "Outhouse"... After a night on the scrumpy, a rather green-looking Ritchie was called into the Outhouse to explain himself... Ritchie admitted to feeling "very heavy headed" due to his boozing and had spent most of the night "being a fool". There was at least one good thing to come out of the evening. Ritchie has now satisfied a life-long ambition....seeing West Country band The Wurzels make sweet music. "I've seen it all now. Top quality entertainment," he raved.
As for everyday life on The Farm, Ritchie is quite happy to get stuck in and stop thinking so much. "It's good to be focused on something. You don't have too much downtime here, which is when the gremlin gets you."
Guiding him in his gremlin dodging is newly appointed Farm Manager Debbie. Ritchie felt her taking over from Stan was probably for the best. "If I'm being honest I do think Stan threw in the towel a little bit too soon, but Debbie's a calming influence and genuinely lovely anyway."
Stan was a touch stern for the 5ive star. "Stan's approach was a little bit too military, somebody mentioned he was like a football manager, which I think is possibly quite true. In this environment, where we're not really farmers, then I think that approach doesn't work."
As for difficult Farmhands, Ritchie doesn't have many complaints, though he noted Lady V is a little slack. "She's probably not used to it," he reasoned. "But then none of us are, are we?"
With that, Ritchie crawled off to nurse his spinning head. Surely today he can welcome a bit of downtime - gremlins or no gremlins.
Sat, 2 Oct... Fee the cow has a baby bull calf which they name 'Mini Moo' and Ritchie helps winch the calf out with a rope around it's hooves. "That was wicked, man," exclaimed Ritchie. Lady Victoria suspects she may be first voted off the farm. Rebecca shovels a blob of poop on Rob's head for being lazy. Ritchie and Stan talk about their days of fame. "It was work, work, work," Rich told Terry. "You sign that record contract mate... they milk you big time." He talked of how after splitting the band's earnings five ways and deducting extras, his life wasn't as glamorous as some people think. He went on to say how tough it had been to be apart from his family at such a young age. "We were only 17 and hadn't seen our families for a year." Ritchie did eventually put an upbeat spin on things. "It's good fun though. It's all about being creative and artistic." Though he added, "Yet other people kinda stifled the creativity." Vanilla doesn't know the difference between organic and vegetarian. Stan cuts his hand and has to go to hospital for stitches.
Sun, 3 Oct... Rebecca seems to be cozying up to Stan a lot. Jeff has to give new mother Fee the cow a vaginal exam. Gem the cow has an easy delivery of another baby bull calf. Lucky Ritchie was then selected to give Gem the once over, before milking her gently to remove the internal teat sealant inserted by the farmers to prevent infection during her pregnancy. Stan and Vanilla get into it yet again. Lady Victoria is announced as the first to be voted off but she appeared to have no hard feelings. Vic then choses Debbie as Farm Manager again.
Mon, 4 Oct... Monsoon rains today and lots of leftover hard-feelings from last night. Debs reckons the arguing is getting tedious and Stan is being a bully, even to lazy Rob. The cows are injected with hormones by the farmhands to bring them in 'heat'. Gem the cow is taken away for some intensive milking and Ritchie moves the two baby cows in together. Rebecca gets chosen to collect some boar semen, the old-fashioned way. Rob tries to steal Debs special manger's pizza and Rebecca rats on him. Later that night, the hands are given a pampering kit with oils, face scrubs and waxing strips. "I think they should have brought a masseuse in," gasped Ritchie, who couldn't quite believe that the celebs would be expected to perform massages on each other.
Ritchie in The Outhouse again... Ritchie came to the Outhouse to chat about losing Lady V, taking orders from Debbie McGee, and Rob finally pulling his finger out. "I have to say there's been a big big difference in Rob today, I think he's been doing a lot more," said Farmhand Ritchie. He reckons that Rob doesn't want to be branded "lazy" and has felt that his masculinity was being challenged by the other Farmhands' allegations. On the subject of failed Farmhand Victoria, Ritchie tried to be diplomatic. He thought that Victoria was thrown out due a combination of "pushing straw around" and being too posh.
Ex-boy-band member Ritchie is quite happy to take orders from Farm Manager Debbie, but does not fancy a shot at the top position. "Er, it seems like a lot of bother," was all he had to say about that.
Generally, Ritchie is loving it. He described life on the Farm as a "mad experience", with babies popping out everywhere and new things to learn every day.
But he also admitted to being a bit frightened of some of the larger animals. "You know at the end of the day that they could have you," he said of the cows.
Ritchie's favourite Farmhand is Margi, though he had no idea who she was before he came into the Farm. "I love Maggie to bits, I hope I'm in contact with her forever," he gushed.
Tues, 5 Oct... Cheese making and sow impregnation were added to the farmhands skills today. Tasked with keeping the stove going by Debbie this morning, Ritchie decided to try and set the house on fire. Having loaded it with paper, wood and coal, smoke then began to billow out of the top rather alarmingly. "I think we have a slight smoke problem," he said calmly, somewhat underestimating the problem. "F***** 'ell!" yelled Stan, turning around from his washing up. "Is that normal?" Ritchie didn't know, this being the first time he'd done this particular job - and probably the last. "There's obviously a fire going on," he shrugged, squinting through the mist. Having replaced the top of the stove, Ritchie then wandered away. But the matter was clearly on his mind, as minutes later he was peering in and poking around. Said Stan, going into a Hollywood style voiceover: "Ritchie Neville and Stan Collymore died of smoke inhalation at The Farm whilst filming a reality TV show." After all Ritchie's hard work, the lads were genuinely delighted when the fire alarms finally went off. "Come on!" shouted Stan. "I'm f***** proud of that," smiled Ritchie.
Ritchie later threw soccer balls in the pigs pen for their play and amusement. Ryan got mad at Rob during sheep herding/dagging but Rob actually had done nothing wrong. This upset Margi & Ritchie consoled her. The afternoon was taken up with the Farm Olympics - sack racing, human wheelbarrow, egg tossing, tug-of-war and hopping/whacking one another while on one leg. Ritchie's team with Stan, Margi and Debs were winning until the last event and were taken in the wheelbarrow race. They had to do the chores for the rest of the day. Farmer Ryan declares is is very pleased with how all the hands have come so far since the beginning. Terry ruins a full pail of milk with cleanser. Everyone is allowed a quick phone call home and Ritchie calls girlfriend Roz & they declare their love. After dinner talk is all about sex...
Wed, 6 Oct... The farmhands are a little uneasy today as someone is getting the chop tonight. Rob merrily discusses Rebecca's bi-sexuality and says all gays are the same, bi or not. Farmer Ryan has 8 of the little pigs sorted out for immediate butchering or being saved for 'bacon weight'. "Is he bacon?" asked an eager Ritchie of one little snorter. Four pigs were duly selected to leave the farm forever and manoeuvred onto the pig van. "It's a sad moment this," Ritchie observed while the others made a comfy bed of straw in the funereal vehicle. Rob is picked to clean a stallion's penis sheath. Ritchie observed that Rob didn't look too happy. "He'll be happy in a minute," replied the uneasy American, donning his latex gloves. "I meant you," smiled Ritchie, content to hover on the sidelines of this particular job. Rob couldn't finish and Ritchie & Debs were volunteered. "It needs a woman's touch," Ritchie insisted so Debs did it. After lunch saw an exciting game of "conkers"... where you bash another person's chestnut on a string until you break it. Debs won and got another phone call home. Finally, the CHOP is announced and Terry is being sent home. Many of the farmhands declare how envious they are since they are all becoming quite tired and homesick, including Ritchie. Terry picks Rebecca as Farm Manager.
Thurs, 7 Oct... Stan makes a quick trip to 'the outhouse' this morning to talk about his disappointment over Terry leaving, his general down feeling and the perception that people are being booted cause they lack 'entertainment' value. Shortly afterwards, Stan appeared, bag in hand, and promptly exited the farm despite pleas from all the others and vet Jon. The rest of the hands take turn butchering one of the little pig carcasses into steaks, chops etc that they themselves will eat over the next few days. Rebecca mopes around most of the day over Stan's leaving and cries on Margi's shoulder. Vanilla and Jeff appear to forming a stronger bond now that Stan and Terry are gone. A topless Ritchie irons his shirt in the kitchen. At dinner, a huge BBQ is put on with extra food & drink brought in for everyone including special veggie goodies for Margi. Ritchie handles BBQ-meister duties to the delight of all. Later, the girls don costumes and do a raunchy little number dressed as nuns and using Jeff & Ritchie as dance poles. Rob gets to be a nappy-wearing cowboy and Ritchie & Jeff try on silly wigs. Obviously this is a ploy to lighten up the rather sobering atmosphere of late...
Fri, 8 Oct ... Everyone seems is very good spirits today, singing and larking about. The pigs are artificially inseminated by Debs and John the vet. Everyone helps out with cattle herding so the experts can inject the cows with hormones for mating. Rebecca and Debs make blood pudding but everyone is so grossed out by the smell & look that all refuse to eat it. "It's like something out of a horror movie," said a spooked Ritchie. Rob is especially horrified. Ritchie & Jeff have a chat about Ritchie's musicianship: Though a legend of pop, it seems former 5ive star Ritchie doesn't know too much about music, though he assured Jeff he's a dedicated professional these days. "To write a song do you have to know the notes?" asked a curious Jeff. "I don't know any notes," admitted Ritchie bluntly. "It's all about the feel. I'll get a riff in my head and I'll say to my guitarist..." At this point Ritchie was taken over by the music in his head and proceeded to do a lot of hand slapping and air guitar. Unmoved by the display, Jeff continued to press Ritchie on his musical ignorance. "So, if I said to you give me a 'G'..." "I wouldn't have the first clue," confessed Ritchie. "Really?" squeaked Jeff. "And you was in a band for five years?" Trying to win back some credibility, Ritchie assured him he was much more professional these days. "We never warmed up. At Wembley, we were all stood with a fag backstage. We just couldn't be arsed. I would definitely warm up now. I'm a serious artiste!" he joked. Apparently, Ritchie was always more creative, preferring grunge to the boy-band scene. "I used to watch Boyzone... and I'd say 'What they doing? Look at them!' But nine months later..." the long-haired popster was in front of screaming hordes of girls himself.
Debbie flirted shamelessly with Ritchie and Jeff at dinner and all enjoyed the light mood. Then the night's surprise was brought out... a chocolate feast and professional massages. Farm manager Rebecca picked Ritchie for a special private treat, a chocolate massage & wrap. Ritchie didn't seem too thrilled at the idea of being smothered in chocolate. He grinned nervously before trying to offer the reward to Jeff. Clearly embarrassed and shaking his head, Ritchie wandered off to prepare himself for the ordeal. "I don't believe this," he muttered as he stripped off and put on a towel. Rebecca popped in to lend him a hair band and teased, "The towel has got to come off, mate!" Looking exceedingly awkward, Ritchie lay back and tried to make small talk. "This is hilariously funny," he joked, looking like a rabbit in the headlights. Once the chocolate spread was being slathered on, he soon loosened up. "You're obviously a masseuse, the way you do it," purred the pop star. "Other than my girlfriend, I've never been touched like that. Covered in spread, relaxed Ritchie was wrapped up while the masseuse cleaned her hands ready for his scalp massage. "I've just got to cook for a while, have I?" he giggled. And there Ritchie lay, all wrapped up in foil like a little sweetie. "I'm the dessert tonight!" he grinned.
Rich back in the Outhouse... Ritchie came to the Outhouse to share his theory as to Stan's departure and his feelings about new Farm Manager Rebecca. "I naturally dislike authority," Ritchie said, when asked to comment on the new Farm Manager. "But everything's been getting done so I can't say she's not doing a good job," he grudgingly admitted.
Ritchie says that the Farmhands each have their own theory about why Stan decided to leave the Farm at short notice yesterday. He reckons Stan was fearful of getting bad press. "He knew he was tired and he was a bit narcy [sic], and pissed off with Rob." Ritchie thought this might have been building up to another bust up.
"[Stan] just thought, 'I'm not doing myself any favours here'," he said. "It's disappointing," Ritchie sighed. "We're another man down. In 24 hours we've lost two pairs of hands. It's upped the work load." The singer then revealed that he himself had come close to breaking point just a few days earlier.
On a more positive note, Ritchie sang the praises of fellow Farmhand Margi. "She's been there, done that, and brought the t-shirt," he said of the school of hard knocks graduate. He then summed up Margi in three words... "Mad, Loyal and ...Mad."
Sat, 9 Oct ... A quiet day. Rebecca teaches the 2 new calves to drink from a bucket, weaned from mum. This afternoon will be a Farm Festival & the hands, in teams of two, have two hours each to prepare corn dollies, bread, a Victoria sponge cake & a veggie animal. Ritchie is teamed with Rebecca. Ritchie & Jeff have to clean-up Flo the mum sow and it's quite nasty in her pen. Ritchie pulled the filthy mats out from underneath the sturdy sow and doused them with disinfectant. "Oh, you are a mucky pup Flo!" Ritchie sighed wearily. At one point Ritchie got a little too close to Flo's rear end and had to back off when she suddenly relieved herself within inches of his face. Scooping up the poop, our Ritch set to work with the disinfectant.
"She could poo for England," gasped Ritchie. Vanilla tried to start another heated debate over Brits' perception of Americans. In the outhouse, Margi wonders why Rebecca is famous for just being a tart. Local food expert, Mary shows up to judge the harvest festival goodies. While Ritchie & Rebecca's cake is deemed best, the award for overall goes to Vanilla & Debs because of their fantastic veggie animal, a duck named Lord Fart-Quack. When Ritchie, who was raised in a pub & considers them second homes, finds out the winning team gets to go to the local for a pint, he is totally gutted & falls on the floor. The farmhands sing a harvest song together. Later when Rebecca is called to the outhouse, she gets to talk to former hand Stan on the phone and he says he is watching them all every day. After only 1/2 an hour, Debs & Rob return from the pub after one beer (Vanilla snuck two) & tell the gang that the locals say everyone is watching the program. "You've been gone 20 minutes!" Ritchie frowned. "That was rubbish." At dinner, Farmer Ryan and vet Jon joined the hands in a meal of steak and potatoes. The conversation was light and fun as each hand was picked over for their efforts. Everyone agreed Margi was a totally mad lady & Margi whinged that she only wanted to be 'normal'. "What makes me laugh, is she goes checking the sheep in the morning dressed as a leopard," laughed Ritchie, referring to Margi's leopard-spotted coat. The evening ended with Rob once again insulting Rebecca on her bi-sexuality and Becs calling him to task on his laziness in the kitchen...
SUN, 10 OCT ... AH, all we can say is that Ritchie was chopped from the farm today. After a day spent watching two ducks get butchered & having to pluck their feathers, playing on the combine harvester, and mucking out the barns over and over, the farmhands had settled in for a tense evening as they knew someone was getting the boot. At dinner, they all toasted each other and the person who would be leaving while sharing mobile numbers. The atmosphere was a bit gloomy as the hands had to retreat to their rooms to pack whilst unknown activities were carried on downstairs. When they were called out, it was to find paint and easels set-up in the kitchen. Everyone had to wear berets and paint frocks as first the boys, then the girls painted each other. They were then ordered to make teas & coffee while more strange activities took place in the outside courtyard. When they emerged, it was to a full-fledged TV set with crew, lights and cameras all over the place. The last 5 minutes of tonight's TV programme was going to be LIVE. As tension mounted, the farmhands looked nervous and made small talk. Sitting on bales of hay, host Ed spoke to the hands and informed them that Debs, Margi and Ritchie were in danger tonight. Ritchie looked a bit shocked when they announced it was him getting the chop. Everyone gathered around to hug and wish him well as the bus pulled up, Ritchie's things were whisked away and he was taken off for exit interviews. Later in the house, Ritchie's final message to the hands was played on the VCR. He had nice things to say about almost everyone but called Rob a 'dick' and said as a parting shot, he would choose as farm manager the person least capable of doing the job - Vanilla Ice aka Rob. Rob howled his disbelief and said that "Potter" had screwed him (Rob often called Ritchie 'Potter' as he thought he looked like teen wizard, Harry Potter). In his exit interview, Ritchie said he was sad that he hadn't got to finish the show but glad to be going home. He was feeling a bit broody with all the farm births and was thinking about his own junior edition soon. He hoped either Debs or Jeff would win the title of Best Farmer. Next morning, Jeff went in the outhouse and had this to say:
"I'm gutted that he's gone," Jeff grumbled in the Outhouse, less than twelve hours after Ritchie was given the chop in last night's Farmageddon. The flat-cap wearing Farmhand described Ritchie fondly as "very clever, competent and hard working," and said that the failed Farmhand deserved his place on the Farm more than most of the others. "I'm really gutted for him, he wanted it more than anyone," recalled Jeff sadly. "To go quite so early...I think he'll be disappointed."
Yes he was. Sometimes being too good is a bad thing...