by Paul Peacock
This biography traces Jack Hargreaves‘ life story from his unlikely start (he was sent away to live on a farm by his mother, who could think of no other solution for his unruly behaviour), to national fame for his TV programmes Gone Fishing, Country Boy and Out of Town broadcast by Southern Television (Southern TV), followed by Old Country broadcast by Channel 4.
Jack succeeded in all his work ventures – advertising, journalism, the NFU, radio (IBC), showcases for the Windmill, then war service in the Royal Artillery, his communication skills being put to good use with the first mobile broadcasting unit, and after the war by almost seamless transition on to civilian radio and then television.
His private life did not go so smoothly. He was ‘… captivated by the opposite sex and this led, inevitably, to a number of affairs.’ Perhaps it was not surprising for such a complex man.
Paul Peacock’s writing style is easy to read and the book is illustrated with 38 photographs, some that have never been published before.
Jack’s Country is the new edition of the book originally entitled Jack Hargreaves – A Portrait contains an updated section, a new Appendix, a new chapter by Dave Knowles (editor of Out of Town and Old Country), and additional photographs. This is the fullest biography of Jack Hargreaves taking his life story through to the last TV series he made, Old Country.
Harry Limex (Amazon review) 18 July 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Real insight to the man who created Out of Town
This is about the man who fronted Out of Town, the series about the countryside. He seemed to know just about everything about the countryside – and probably did. But he is not at all the person I imagined, and it turns out he is an interesting character in himself.
Carl Conway –
Just finished, what a fantastic book, such a terrific read. Well done and thank you, Paul Peacock 🙂
I’ve learned there was so much more to Jack than the Out of Town and How presenter I’ve seen on the screen.
The book covers all aspects of his life from his early experiences growing up, his military, career to his successful career in advertising and media, his personal life and relationships with family and friends and generally how he used his skills, fame and influence as a force for good to, educate and to try and protect the countryside he knew.
I’ve recently read Yuval Noah Harari’s, Sapiens and Homo Deus, he’s considered by many to be one of the great thinkers of our time and has twice won the Polonsky Prize for “Creativity and Originality”. His books sell in their millions, much of which are full of how the human species has succeeded because of our ability to tell stories and believe in imaginary concepts –
Then on I find on page 66 In Jack’s Country, a quotation of introductory notes Jack wrote for Big Town Britain in 1964.
“Man has certain biological needs and capabilities which are largely unaltered – and unalterable – since they time they served as essential equipment for primitive human life. As his environment has developed technically and in density and in pace and many other ways, man has tried to adapt by following in turn a succession of philosophical and ethical and religious concepts outside himself. Each of these in turn become conventionalised and has lingered on after it has failed to serve.”
Yuval Noah Harari and could have written this himself,
But he didn’t, Jack Hargreaves did, over 50 years ago and I love that 🙂