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See why Norfolk farrier Mark's love nest isn't quite up to scratch...

PUBLISHED: 15:17 22 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:05 22 May 2018

Love in the Countryside: Renita being taught blacksmithery by Mark (C) Fremantle Media Ltd

Love in the Countryside: Renita being taught blacksmithery by Mark (C) Fremantle Media Ltd

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Will Norfolk farrier find his perfect match on Love in the Countryside? Will his suitors be able to look past his central heating denial and front room piled from floor to ceiling with unidentifiable stuff? We will soon find out...

Norfolk farrier Mark, 52, is looking for the one on new BBC show Love In The Countryside. Picture BBC.Norfolk farrier Mark, 52, is looking for the one on new BBC show Love In The Countryside. Picture BBC.

It’s the show that’s like First Dates meets Countryfile and which sees presenter (and farmer’s daughter) Sara Cox searching for love – on behalf of eight country folk including Norfolk farrier Mark, who will shortly reveal whether he found the woman of his dreams.

This week, Farrier Mark invites 45-year-old lorry driver Sarah and 58-year-old florist Renita to spend time with him in remote East Anglia but finding himself attracted to both women has complicated results: rural romance has never been simple.

“I love living in the countryside. I haven’t got the hustle and bustle of living in the city. After working hard all day I love to sit in the garden, have a beer and listen to nothing apart from the countryside,” said Mark, who described himself as having “a bit of a romantic side” and said he was looking for “a girl who can sink a pint or two”

It would be nice to settle down. For me love is being there to share, to do stuff together, to hold, to cuddle, to kiss. I’ve been single now for 15 months and I just want to find someone who will put up with me!

“I love living in the countryside. I haven’t got the hustle and bustle of living in the city. After working hard all day I love to sit in the garden, have a beer and listen to nothing apart from the countryside. I may be a farrier but I absolutely love my 80s pop…”

Viewers of the BBC2 show have met Mark over several weeks on the show which matches town and county, offering city dwellers the chance to try a new pace of life away from the rat race and find love at the same time. If love does blossom, the townies face a move to the countryside to be with their new beau.

We have also met Mark’s straight-talking best friend Ann, who was initially impressed that Mark had cleaned up his house in time for his female visitors…until she saw his front room. Mark had accidentally found himself in a potential love triangle after inviting both Sarah and Renita to visit – this might have been a blessing in disguise, as we’d earlier learned that Mark “doesn’t believe” in central heating. At least the women would have had the option of huddling together for warmth if the visit had coincided with the Beast from the East.

That said, when Mark chooses Renita to try scurry racing with him over Sarah, warmth most definitely isn’t on the cards.

* Love in the Countryside is on BBC2 at 9pm on May 23 and then available on iPlayer.

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