Countryfile host tackles Holbeach's hot potatoes

A team from BBC One's popular TV programme Countryfile popped into Holbeach to film part of this Sunday's show.

Presenter John Craven went to the University of Lincoln's Holbeach Campus, in Park Road, to taste test some potatoes as part of a feature on the UN's International Year of the Potato.

John went into the campus's Sensory Suite to sample the spuds – testing three varieties of roast potatoes and three different baking potatoes.

Staff showed John how their panellists look at attributes such as a potatoe's texture, flavour and colour to build up a detailed picture of each variety.

Potato growers Agrimarc alerted the BBC to the taste testing facilities at the Holbeach campus so the Countryfile crew could track the vegetables through their entire development.

Sensory science lecturer Linda McWatt said: "It's alright being able to grow lots of potatoes with crops that give a good yield but they need to actually taste nice and that's where the taste testing comes in.

"John Craven was nice and very professional.

"He was really enthusiastic and I think he's a bit of a food buff anyway because he knew his stuff.

"I might be cringing a little bit but I shall definitely be sitting down to watch it on Sunday."

Filming for the weekly show, which features issues surrounding rural life, lasted for around four hours.

Mrs McWatt said there are opportunities for anyone interested in what they see in the show to follow in the footsteps of John Craven and join the campus's taste test panel.

She said: "We do a lot of work for local food companies and people bring in all sorts of products to test and we are always looking for more panellists to help with the tests."

Countryfile is on BBC One on Sunday at 11am.

n If you are interested in being one of the campus's taste testers, telephone 01406 493000.