Countryfile star Matt Baker's childhood struggles after being 'badly bullied' during school years
TV

Countryfile star Matt Baker’s childhood struggles after being ‘badly bullied’ during school years

TV personality's dedication to gymnastics helped define his values

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TV’s Matt Baker is known to viewers throughout the UK for starring in Countryfile, The One Show and Blue Peter.

He also showed incredible dedication and determination to finish in second place on Strictly Come Dancing in 2010.

And it seems his focus and ambition may stem from his reaction to struggles he suffered when he was ‘bullied’ at school.

Presenter Matt, 44, opened up more about being singled out for his childhood obsession with gymnastics back in June 2011.

Matt Baker joined Countryfile as a presenter in 2009
Matt Baker joined Countryfile as a presenter in 2009 (Credit: BBC iPlayer)

Matt Baker’s childhood love for gymnastics

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Matt reflected on how he was inspired to take up gymnastics after watching it on the box aged seven.

Read more: How long has Matt Baker been with his wife? How old are their children?

He immediately wanted to be just like the Russian champion he saw flying through the air. Within months he was part of the North of England gym squad set up.

Matt admitted: “I was obsessed. Totally obsessed. My parents didn’t push me at all, because they didn’t need to. I trained at least two hours a day, six days a week. It took over everything – school, friends, everything.I was badly bullied at school because of it.”

How Matt reacted to being bullied

However, despite being called names, Matt noted how he was so strong the bullies didn’t attempt to hassle him physically.

Furthermore, it seems the bullies didn’t win – and Matt shook his head when asked if he felt hurt by them.

Don’t get distracted; keep your head down and work hard.

Matt explained gymnastics was all he cared about. He continued to apply himself and, when he scored his first perfect ten, Matt realised a similar approach might bring him success in other areas of his life.

He added: “I worked and worked until I did it and then I achieved it. To me that formed the basis of everything I believe in. Go for something 100 per cent. Don’t get distracted; keep your head down and work hard.”

Matt Baker on moving on from gymnastics: 'For a few days my world crashed in'
Matt Baker on moving on from gymnastics: ‘For a few days my world crashed in’ (Credit: BBC iPlayer)

Unfortunately, Matt had to give up gymnastics when he was diagnosed with anaemia at 14.

But farmer’s son Matt quickly picked himself up and resolved to apply the lessons he’d already learned.

Read more: Countryfile viewers shocked over pre-watershed toad dissection

He recalled; “For a few days my world crashed in. But when I picked my head up and looked around, I realised there was a bigger world out there.”

Countryfile airs on BBC One on Sunday January 23 at 5.10pm.

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