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An Abz-olutely fabulous watch.

Byline: Bevan on the box WITH NATHAN BEVAN

ANYONE who's ever spent so much as a night in the country will know all this 'peace and tranquility' stuff is a bunch of bologna.

The wee small hours are constantly filled with the strangulated cries of foxes rutting, owls twit-twoo-ing and badgers breakdancing on bubble wrap (actually, I'm not entirely sure that is what they're doing, but it's bloody noisy all the same).

|Good Abz from Then, no sooner have you managed to drift off to sleep, some dirty great cockerel wakes you back up with a caterwaul that resembles a bugler with his blowhole caught in an industrial press.

In short, it's a nightmare which, after just a few hours, would have me scurrying off into the nearest traffic jam to suck fumes from an exhaust pipe.

And now you can add the sound of a former boyband member Abz Love (not his real name, I reckon) to the list.

The ex-chart botherer from the group 5ive (no, I didn't just have a convulsion at my keyboard, that is how it's spelled) has decided to give up on the flash cars, big houses and vulgarly over-sized bling to live a frugal life of self-sufficiency in the Welsh countryside in the new BBC reality series Country Strife: Abz on the Farm.

Not entirely his choice I should add, more out of necessity seeing as no one has bought any of his records since 2001.

In fact, if Abz was anymore anonymous not even automatic shop doors would bother opening for him.

Locke-|GBBO Paul in the So, with dodgy dress sense and the even dodgier Ali G-like patois, he's decided to go from Thug Life to The Good Life and buy himself and his girlfriend Jackie a little small holding somewhere unpronouncable.

Yes, 5ive may have been the name of his group, but it's now the time he'll have to get up each morning to muck out the cow shed and plough the field and scatter.

Scatter what? I'm not sure - although he'll have to be careful because apparantly growing veg can be lethal.

"Here are our perennial cabbages," said one grower, while giving Abz a tour of his commune in Llandeilo. "Wassat? Did you say predatorial cabbage, bro?" replied Abz, suddenly envisaging being chased across acres of grassland by mutant carniverous crops.

life... 5ive "Wooah, you better stay away from them vegetables, boy."

Aside from that GM apologist's nightmare though, Abz seemed to be having a whale of a time in the country.

"It's so cool, man," he yo-yo-yo'd. "There's a real sense of community and harmony out here - it's like when you get your fish tank set up and all the pH levels are right, the ripples are going good and the fish are happy."

Just then he paused, looked blankly into the camera and suddenly seemed crestfallen "Ok, maybe that's not such a good example 'cos me fish died, man."

I'm sensing a bumpy ride ahead.

THE Great British Bake Off continues to amaze and stultify in equal measure. The dough-dampening smarm of Paul Hollywood, and the constant worry that Mary Berry is going to leave her dentures wedged in a too-tough slice of fruit cake during a tasting, continue to make the show near unwatchable for me.

a-like... contestant tent But then Paul the prison guard (who sounds the spit of comedian Sean Locke - go on, close your eyes and listen next time he speaks) goes and bakes something incredible - the face of Cecil the Lion (RIP) from a load of baps. Tiger bread will never seem as good again.


Good life... |Abz from 5ive

Locke-a-like... |GBBO contestant Paul in the tent
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Aug 23, 2015
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