Countryfile: John Craven jokes about 'green fingers'

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The presenter first noticed that his hearing was struggling around 15 years ago. What “frustrated” Craven the most wasn’t that he thought people were mumbling when they weren’t, but that he was losing his ability to hear nature.

Craven told Wise Living Magazine: “Outdoors, I wasn’t hearing many of the gentler sounds of nature that everyone else was. All very frustrating.

“I used to kid myself I’d developed ‘selective hearing’, but the truth was I was becoming a little deaf.

“I must admit, I was worried when I first began experiencing hearing loss because Countryfile is very much about the sounds, as well as the sights of nature.”

After a routine check, he was told that his hearing had dropped by roughly 20 percent since his last check, he wrote in a Daily Mail article.

At first, Craven’s response was merely to accept the fate of his deafness.

“I forced myself to face the fact that, like one in every six people in the UK, I was suffering from hearing loss,” he told the Mirror.

“That is around 11 million, with two-thirds of us over the age of 60.”

But he didn’t stick to this response for long.

Craven, who is still presenting Countryfile, turned to Specsavers for hearing treatment.

He said: “Hearing aids solved the problem and it is a real delight to experience the rustle of leaves, the pitter-patter of raindrops, the distant roar of thunder as easily as anyone with normal hearing.

“As someone once said: ‘Sound is the vocabulary of nature.’”

Hearing loss is a common problem, especially for elderly people.

However, often the causes of hearing loss are treatable.

There are several causes for hearing loss, including an ear infection which can be treated with antibiotics.

Other causes include ear-wax build-up, which can be treated with ear drops; perforated eardrum, which tends to heal with rest and Labyrinthitis.

Hearing loss can lead to several complications, making it important to speak to your GP if you think it is happening to you.

According to NICE, hearing impairment can result in relationship issues with family and friends, as well as problems with social engagement.

Craven described how he only got his first presenting job at the BBC due to his “cheek.”

Writing for the Daily Mail he said: “‘Can I have a go?’ I asked, to be told the team had spent weeks selecting the right candidates.

“They must have liked my cheek, though, because they found a few minutes for me at the end of their long day.

“I got the job and that led to ‘John Craven’s Newsround’ [which first aired in 1972].

“Seventeen years later, I left Newsround to find work in ‘grown-up’ TV.

“Unknown to me, the search was on for a presenter of a new rural affairs show called Countryfile. Once again, luck was on my side and I’m still there, three decades later.

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