Jack Hargreaves

Daily Echo:

JACK Hargreaves was a huge star of Southern Television from the mid-60s.

He was best known for Out of Town which introduced mostly urban viewers to a variety of country ways, from sheep shearing to trout tickling.

Jack had a country background himself. The son of a Yorkshire farmer he would milk cows before he went to school and learnt to fish, shoot, ride and sail as a youngster.

He had always wanted to become a farmer but when he was still young his father sold the farm and told Jack and his two brothers that they should become doctors. Jack still wanted to farm but he and his farther struck a compromise and he agreed to be a vet.

He became a radio writer before the Second World War, during which he served in the Gunners and the Armoured Corps.

After the war he edited a couple of magazines before becoming the National Farmers' Union's chief of information.

He took Southern Television to task over a farming technicality in 1959 and they responded by asking him to do six programmes for them called Gone Fishing.

The series was so popular it grew into 28 episodes. There would have been more but Jack felt the subject had been exhausted so Southern told him he could present any subject he wanted as long as it stayed away from urban life.

And so it was that Out of Town, which invariably featured Jack wearing shapeless tweeds and puffing on a pipe, was born. The show was so popular it was extended to other regions, including London.

In 1966 Jack extended his repertoire beyond the countryside and began presenting How, a series aimed at younger viewers which also went from being a regional show to a national one.

He was part of a top team at Southern that included Fred Dinenage, Jon Miller and Bunty James.

Jack went on to become deputy programme controller for Southern Television and also helped found the Out of Town centre at Home Farm on the Beaulieu Estate, which introduced city children to the countryside.

When Southern Television lost its franchise in 1981 TVS didn't continue with Out of Town but Jack was approached by Channel 4 to make Old Country.

After making 20 episodes he retired, living modestly with his wife Isobel before his death aged 82.

NAME: Jack Hargreves Occupation: TV personality DATE OF BIRTH: December 31, 1911 DIED: March 15, 1994 Local link: legendary Southern Television star

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