Renishaw Hall owner and Ex-Emmerdale actor turned Peak District farmer star in two new telly series

The owner of Renishaw Hall and a former Emmerdale actor who runs a farm in the Peak District give an insight into their lives in two new television series launching tonight (Monday).

By Gay Bolton
Monday, 17th January 2022, 10:59 am

Alexandra Sitwell, whose family have lived at the stately home in Renishaw since 1625, and her husband Rick, a former businessman, are among a handful of posh people starring in the ITV programme Keeping Up With The Aristocrats.

In the opening episode of three, Alexandra and Rick, who have two children, are entertaining their friends Lord Gerald Fitzalan-Howard and his wife Emma. Renishaw Hall is an award-winning wine producer with its own vineyard and the Fitzalan-Howards are seeking advice on their own wine which they have started making at their Carlton Towers estate in Goole. Emma marvels at her hosts’ Italianate garden which she describes as “a mini Versailles.”

In the light-hearted programme, Renishaw Hall’s butler David Hintz says that people ask him if it’s like working at Downton Abbey. David jokes: “My father was a pig farmer and then became a butler but he says it's the same thing: you feed them when they're hungry and you clean up their mess!”

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Renishaw Hall owner Alexandra Sitwell and her husband Rick in Keeping Up With The Aristocrats (photo: Banjay/Shine Productions).

A long-serving housekeeper named Pat reveals that Prince Charles was a lunch guest at Renishaw Hall and Mick Jagger rocked up at the door for a cup of tea.

Ex-Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher, who won Strictly Come Dancing in 2019 shows how he has turned his back on the bright lights in BBC One’s six-part series Kelvin’s Big Farming Adventure.

Following a career acting as farmer Andy Sugden in the ITV soap, Kelvin decided he would do it for real even though he had zero experience. He uprooted his family from Oldham to the 120-acre farm on the edge of the Peak District National Park.

Kelvin Fletcher with his wife Liz and children Marnie and Milo at their farm on the edge of the Peak District National Park (photo: BBC One).

Kelvin and his wife Liz, who announced in December that they were expecting their third child, have been helped into farming life by their neighbour, Gilly.

The BBC synopsis reads: “Before investing in their own livestock, Kelvin and Liz get some hands-on experience with Gilly’s flock of sheep, but the harsh realities of animal husbandry soon hit home.

“The sight of a sheep’s maggot-infested foot is too much for Kelvin to bear and he starts to wonder if this new life really is for him.”