Pete Kelly and Matt Baker Share a JokeAmbleside wild swimming expert Pete Kelly is to star in the flagship BBC TV show Countryfile,  in a Lakeland tarn with no wetsuit.

Pete took a dive into the chilly waters of Blea Tarn for the BBC cameras for a show which will be transmitted this Sunday Feb 9.

He was demonstrating how training can prepare the body for swimming in ultra-cold water, to test the “body-shock” theory for presenter Matt Baker.

Matt paddled into the cold water to test its temperature but left the swimming to the expert, “It’s Baltic in there,” was Matt’s reaction.

He interviewed Pete before and after his swim and recorded Pete’s heart rate to see how his acclimatised body reacts to the sudden cold. The water temperature was 4degrees C, cooler than a domestic fridge.

Pete talks to Matt Baker

Pete and his partner Andrea Tucker, who run Head to the Hills/Swim the Lake District, an adventure business based on Compston Road in Ambleside, are currently exploring the inspirational locations that feature in their guided wild swims that run throughout spring and summer in the Lakes.

“We run wild swimming courses and guided swims in the Lakes and rivers for visitors, but we expect most to be wearing a wetsuit,” said Pete ,who emphasised  “Wild swimming is not about enduring the cold, it’s about enjoying the outdoors from a whole new perspective.  It is always an exhilarating experience and provides a feeling of wellbeing that lasts all day.”

pre-wild swim

The Countryfile team spent two days filming in the Lakes and also interviewed legendary climber and author Bill Birkett, and visited Grasmere to try some gingerbread.


The show is due to air on BBC one 7pm Sunday 9th Feb.

Words: CumbriaPR