Christmas special catching up with rapper turned smallholder Abz Love and his girlfriend Vicky Fallon, as a tumultuous year on the farm draws to a close.
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Ex pop star Abz Love and his girlfriend, Vicky Fallon,
gave up their celebrity life for a smallholding in Wales.
Can you get fairies doing this?
-That are laying?
A year later and Christmas is coming to the valley.
Yeah! I like it. Very festive. Very inviting!
But with no money and even less farming experience...
Slugs are thugs.
..pursuing their green dream has been a steep learning curve.
The chicken got... I think she died of a heart attack.
Now, with their backs to the wall, it's make or break on the farm.
-We've got a lot of debt.
-I've had to sell everything
Right now, I'm just living day to day.
Let's do this.
Now the couple are trying to find the perfect cash crop...
What the flip is that?
..before it's too late.
Cabbages? Don't know where I was going with that one.
As a last resort, Abz puts his Brit Award for sale on eBay...
I think that's a great pitch.
..and events take an unexpected turn!
-That can't be real!
-Look at them dollars!
-That can't be real!
Oh, my God. This would change our lives.
This would change everything!
So, is it a fairy tale ending to the year?
What's happening, Santa?
Or back down to earth with a bump, this Christmas?
It's September in rural Wales and Abz and Vicky are coming to the
end of their first growing season.
Raw! Raw goodness!
It's been a life-changing move from the city to the smallholding.
We have been here, now, a whole flippin' year. That's incredible.
I can't believe we've made it a year.
And a good year, it's been.
# As I went down to the polytunnel to pray... #
Abz and Vicky planted their plot with plenty of enthusiasm
but little know-how.
Slugs are thugs. It's like we're growing food, but not for us.
Do you know what I mean? It's like we're putting on the party
and everyone's eating the biscuits, munchies, nibbles and drinks
and we ain't getting nothing.
We're just left with tidying it up, we've got to tidy up all the plates.
We're still very far from self-sufficient.
We're probably 2% self-sufficient.
Do you eat the bit at the bottom?
-No, that's a cauliflower, you eat that.
-You just pulled it up.
-It's dead, innit?
-This, you eat the white...
-That's not dead?
It's been one of the wettest summers on record,
but, in their polytunnel, they've had more success.
Oh, my goodness, sweetcorn.
-What do we do? Do we unwrap it?
-Open, it yeah.
It's like Christmas.
-Look at that. What?!
-That's proper good.
Don't take them all off, what are you plucking them for?
We're having them for tea. This is harvest, we're harvesting.
Summer is done!
Getting everything started is the hardest bit.
It's like pushing a car, like getting it going,
then eventually it starts rolling, and you're like... Phew!
We're not rolling yet. We're still pushing!
The pushing has been made easier with help from new
friends like Hoppi Wimbush, an expert in green living.
Show me your greenhouse. I'm impressed! Amazing!
I've got some comfrey growing. Probably a bit late.
-Well done, it's a perennial, it's fine.
-Better late than never.
You've gone through massive shifts. It's huge.
-It's been traumatic.
Unplugging from the internet, unplugging from mainstream,
having everything on tap and suddenly, you know,
having to, kind of, dig and work.
You're on, like, a steep learning curve.
-But out of the experience, you've learnt so much already.
So it's an A for effort...
Right, I want to have a look at this patch over here.
The one you've been doing the drainage in.
..but they're still struggling to come up with a plan for making
a living from the land.
Do you want to keep animals or do you want go down the soft
fruits route? Do you know what I mean?
You could use this area for an orchard, maybe.
You've just got to think, what is it you want?
The Welsh hills are also well suited to rearing goats and sheep,
and Hoppi has another suggestion.
Alpacas come to mind.
So keeping them for their wool?
Yeah, so you would graze them, look after them,
and then harvest their wool and sell the wool.
Alpaca fetches a good price.
Do your research, look into it, explore it and see
whether your heart is being ignited.
So, alpacas may be an answer to their empty field, but, to date,
their experiments with livestock have met with limited success.
There's not many chickens about today. We've only got Nando.
Fernando the second, and one of his girls,
because the chicken got... I think she died of a heart attack.
There's been a lot of death.
There's been a lot of murder, death, kill.
The other chickens, unfortunately, got ate by the fox.
The fox outwitted me.
I think on one occasion, we forgot to lock the door.
I think he got two that night.
I don't know if I'm doing a good job or not.
I do feel guilty. I do feel responsible.
I feel like there's far too many animals depending on me
So, the chicken security needs to be tightened up.
That's why we've got a fence up, as well, to keep the dogs out.
No, keep the foxes out. Keep the dogs in.
And it's not only the chickens who are struggling to survive.
We were expecting to be further along than this.
But with the limited knowledge, limited money,
it has taken a little bit longer than we were hoping.
We've got a lot of debt, a lot of personal debt, family debt,
thousands of pounds of debt.
A lot more debt than we really can cope with.
We haven't got any income, haven't had for nearly a year.
The farm is nowhere near creating us an income and, right now,
I'm living day to day.
Still need to sell this.
I would usually wear safety goggles.
But, yeah, I've had to sell everything.
Sold the horses, can't sell the car, had to sell the Rolex,
anything I had, that had any bit of gold on it, is gone.
I have to wear... Tucking my chain in, but now I've resorted
to wearing fashion jewellery now, cos I've got no more money.
Our money-making plans haven't really made any money.
Shut up, Fernando!
Abz takes another look at their options.
Here, on this black board, is our money-making schemes.
Started off with rock star eggs.
-It could still work.
-All the chickens are gone.
Cabbages. I don't know where I was going with that one.
And where we're currently at... Alpacas.
Oh, yeah, possible.
Intrigued by Hoppi's suggestion that they consider raising alpacas,
they head off to seek expert advice from
Emma and Rodney Bird, who farm alpacas nearby.
Rodney. Emma. I've always wanted a friend called Rodney.
What are these white things? Is that a turkey?
-Turkeys ready for Christmas, yes.
-Ah, they're so gorgeous!
-Uh-oh, are they getting the chop this Christmas?
-They will be.
They have no idea what's coming.
Alpacas are closely related to llamas.
Emma and Rodney farm their herd of about 20 animals
for their fleece, which is particularly warm.
-Look at these! Look at these! Look at these!
-Here they are, then!
-Is that an alpaca?
-This is the first time I've ever seen one.
My brain is just trying to comprehend what I'm looking at.
-I haven't quite figured it out what it is yet.
-Look at the eyes!
Is it anything to do with... Whoa, what is that?
-She's checking us out, look!
What the flip is that?! Look at him with his tooth!
That's them talking to each other.
It's like they're meditating. Om! Do they om?
# Woo... #
SHE SINGS "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"
# Wimoweh, wimoweh Wimoweh, wimoweh
# Wimoweh, wimoweh Wimoweh, wimoweh
# In the jungle... #
Listen to their little... Do you hear it?
-They're properly joining in!
-Come on. Come on, girls.
-Come on, girls.
-Come on, girls.
-Oh, Ada. You're honoured. Absolutely honoured.
That's the matriarch of the pack, of the herd.
Watch out, I'll be riding her next. Give me a head collar!
I am in love with them! I'm an alpaca fan, are you?
Yeah, they're amazing, how much are alpacas?
Well, a breeding female, you would be looking from about £1,000.
-They hold a high value.
-A breeding female, £1,000?
-That's not cheap.
-They hold a high value.
-Start at 1,000? What?!!
At that price, they can barely afford to buy one alpaca.
And Abz has some other concerns.
Its little feet freak me out. I was freaked out.
The feet freak me out. What is that?
It was like a chicken, it was like a mythical beast.
It had the neck of a griffin.
I was waiting for it to have a beak.
It's a split front lip, like it's had a bad piercing accident.
Split. It's like camel-esque, but not a camel - you can't ride it,
and it hums.
It chants to you. It's just weird.
Come on! In! Where you been, presh?
So, with bills piling up and with nothing else left to sell,
Abz reaches a decision.
Brit Award, this thing I have had for ten years,
won it, yeah, then no-one cares.
I decided to sell it one day, because it's not any use to me
and I need tools - I need stuff in the garden.
So Abz puts his Brit award up for sale on eBay.
You are viewing one real deal Brit Award,
for Newcomer Best Pop Act 2000, awarded to Abz, ex-5ive rapper.
Take advantage of my poverty
and grab this rare opportunity to own a bit of pop history.
Selling to fund a delivery of topsoil and maybe some garden tools.
Has been dropped and knocked a few times
and is currently being used as a doorstop.
No reserve. 99p start.
Has been held by Jason Statham, although I cannot prove this.
Happy bidding! That's a good advert!
-It's good advert.
-I think that's a great pitch!
So, whilst waiting for someone to grab this rare opportunity,
they take advantage of support from other quarters.
-How's it going, buddy?
Logs are ready for you. It's nice, fresh ash for you.
-Nice and dry.
-That's really sweet of you!
Times couldn't be harder, but new friends have rallied around.
You can take most of it.
Neighbours have really gone out of their way to help us
as much as they possibly can.
-There's more there for you.
-We can't take all of your wood.
You can take as much as you want.
That's such a beautiful thing, to see that happen,
that there's humans like that, still.
-These are my onions, drying here.
-You grew all of these, Lyn?
-Yes, I do. You can take those home with you.
-I can take these?
-That's sweet of you. Onion soup, it is!
Do you want to see my grapes?
-There's the grapes for you.
-I've got loads of them.
Loads and loads of 'em.
-This is lovely.
-Nice, are they?
Every time we come round, Lyn, you give us half your garden.
It has given me faith in humans again, that there are beautiful
people out there and they come to your aid when you need them.
The tough part was accepting it,
because we're always give, give, give.
It is good to accept their help, and we needed it.
What shall I give Lyn? Lyn. Packet of Monster Munch?
No, thank you. No, thank you. I've got to look after my figure.
-Put some of this in here.
-..a new bobble hat.
-Please, try it on.
-You've got to try it on.
-It's made of alpaca wool.
-That's made for you, Lyn.
-Is it nice?
Very nice and comfortable.
That's the nicest-quality alpaca wool, really beautiful, soft.
Let me just... But I won't use much of it, mind.
-I'll keep it for best.
-Keep it for best occasions.
-How much is it? I'll buy it from you.
-No, I want you to have it
-for all of those things you've given us.
-It's all right.
But help from friends will only get them so far.
Money or no money, the house, as well as the land, needs work,
and in their new independent lifestyle,
this means doing it themselves.
Self-sufficiency is really difficult.
Ah, there's a little hole, here.
You're doing everything yourself.
That's why it's called self-sufficient.
That can't be it.
Every day, there's something else to do.
I think that's all right. That might have done the trick.
Come on, Meow, lets go.
What are you doing, little cat?
Don't bite me, Meow, back up, Meow! Stay out, stay out.
You're not allowed in the house.
You're a very violent, vicious little thing. You stay.
So, with no money to invest in an alpaca herd,
it's back to the drawing board, where, now, it's Vicky who has
plans for an unconventional crop.
-Spirulina? That's an algae, isn't it?
Spirulina is an algae that's being heralded as a super food,
and so they head off to the local health food shop to get
the low-down on its money-making potential.
-There's nobody in the UK that produces spirulina.
-Say that again!
-We've been looking for it for some time.
-Gap in the market!
There is a gap in the market.
If we managed to grow it, there's a possibility you might be
interested in buying it?
-We'd definitely be interested. Yeah, definitely.
-This stuff is the future, I believe.
-Little green gold.
Although spirulina is sold as a dried powder,
it's actually an algae that grows in water, a bit like pond weed.
No buying garbage and junk.
-Tanks, pipes, pumps!
So, Abz and Vicky have come to Carmarthen's Sunday car-boot
in search of what they need to get started.
What are we doing with our lives?
What more of a place to question these things about what
you're doing with your life, than at a car-boot sale on a rainy day.
Am I walking the right path with my higher self or is
this my lower self?
Am I going the wrong way?
Or am I going the right way? What's around that corner?
-I don't know, let's see.
-Could be the answer to all our prayers.
-Absolutely nothing, let's go back.
Oh sorry. Not you, little dog, not you.
-That would be good for spirulina, wouldn't it?
-Take that off.
I am your father...
It's been a good day, hasn't it?
Have you seen what's in this box?
I didn't see you get that.
I had to buy them. That warms the cockles of the heart.
-Let's go home!
Back home, there's a reason to celebrate...
..as the bidding on Abz's Brit Award has picked up interest.
The last bid was at £9,000, the last time I checked!
That's amazing, cos we need about ten tonnes of top soil.
Yeah. Fix the roof.
We need to fix the roof. Got a leak.
I'm happy to let it go and let's move forward with our life.
It's not like I'm going to look around for it
-and say, "Oh, I've lost a Brit.
This is what ha...
The auction still has several days to run
and Vicky, at least, isn't counting her chickens just yet.
Is that him or is that someone who's come to talk to me about my debts?
-It is him. Rafal.
-Nice to meet you!
She's arranged for spirulina grower Rafal Diaczek to help them
get started with growing their green gold.
What I'm planning to show you is a cost-effective simple set up.
Algae is where I'm thinking now, which is
a place where not a lot of farmers, I guess, venture.
A bottle, one cut in half. Upside down like that.
It sounds like a quick-turnaround, big-income thing.
But I don't know yet.
-What is that?
-That's a non-return valve.
Non-rettun valve? OK.
A non-threatening valve?
-A non-return valve!
-Yeah, we're getting there!
-Oh, no return!
So it only goes one way!
There seems like there's a lot to take on board.
There's a lot of bottles and pipes, tubes and green stuff and water.
But I think it's a good start.
So, spirulina looks like a potential money-spinner in the longer term.
But Abz has an eye on a faster route to riches.
Let's go up the mountain and see what's going on.
As they have no internet connection at the house,
they haven't checked on the bidding on his Brit Award for a few days,
and they're in for a shock.
Oh, my God, oh, no! That can't be real!
-That can't be real!
-Look at them dollars.
-That can't be real!
-It's at £51,000.
I think it's this picture that's doing it.
I think people love that.
That's so much tools. I'm going to buy a utility belt.
Everything. I might buy a spare utility belt.
I went to bed, woke up the next day and it was all over the planet.
It's gone around the world.
Abz is selling his Brit Award - newspapers,
The Guardian, The Times.
I can't even... Honestly, I don't know what...
It's just a blur.
All the papers, all the tabloids, all the press!
I hear India, I was in Australia talking about it on the phone.
Abz, thank you very much for joining us.
Whereabouts are you in the world?
Hey, guys, I'm in Wales.
I'm in the middle of the woods right now!
The middle of the woods?! Abz, this is sensational.
Does yours say "Abz" on it?
You can scratch that off.
If there's any potential buyers out there,
you can scratch off the Abz name. Nice and easy.
We've always loved you. Thank you, Abz.
I do love Australia, thank you.
Over the next few days, the bidding climbs beyond their wildest dreams.
As it started going up and up and up, we started thinking,
oh, my God!
This will change our lives, this would change everything.
Then, all of a sudden, I am on the phone with the
World Press Association and she goes,
"Oh, my God, it's just gone to a million."
I'm like, "What?" This is life-changing.
It's all over if that's the case, forget it.
I'm already thinking in my head, "Butler!"
Do you know what I'm saying?
The evening before the auction,
Abz and Vicky head out to check the listings for a final time.
Bidding has reached a staggering £1.2 million
and over 17,000 people are watching it online.
I'm not taking any risks or chances, man.
I'm bringing the Brit with us everywhere we go,
because just in case if it is worth a million.
That's Hackney mentality.
But there's a problem.
What shall I do?
I'll pull in here.
That's so frustrating. That's the message. Look.
"The account for user ID abzonthefarm
"specified in this request is suspended." So have eBay done this?
Are you sure that...?
Out of the blue, the listing has been deleted.
That's just fucked everything.
Seriously, man, what was the point?
What the fuck was the point? Are you kidding me, man?
That's a million bucks.
After an anxious night, they get a phone call from eBay.
Yeah, right, yeah, there's a lot of that.
Yeah, that was me!
The fraud department flagged this up as high-risk
because of the high amount of bids, as, maybe, a hoax or something,
so they suspended the whole account.
Speak to you soon, Clare, thank you, bye.
This morning, I woke up feeling a little bit depressed with life.
This is not the fairy-tale ending I wanted.
No, it is not.
It was like... boom!
Didn't happen. Cruel.
Although they relisted it a week later,
the Brit Award failed to sell.
It's like a curse.
It's like the Brit Award curse. You can't get rid of them.
So, we've still got the Brit and I'm looking to sell it
if you're interested.
Please get in touch, blah, blah, blah. No time-wasters, all that.
Just bask in that glory.
Every time the sun shines out here, man, everything just stops.
Like, if you was holding a baby. Drop. Waa!
Catch some sunshine.
You don't realise how important the weather is until you try
and grow some stuff.
We were so desperate just to have a home, we didn't take
into consideration anything like that, did we? Really.
-We were just like, so happy to have a house.
-Anywhere will do.
Yeah, we'll work with it and that's what we've been doing.
-We've been working with it and it's working.
It's not really working, but we're just pretending it's working.
There's two outcomes.
We get through this year much easier and it is much more enjoyable,
or it's even worse and we move to Spain.
Let's have this maybe going across the front of the house.
But, determined to look on the bright side,
Abz starts decorating the house for Christmas.
Man, it don't fit.
Barry is Abz and Vicky's closest neighbour in the valley.
All right, Barry. I'm just putting up a few lights. Have a look.
-Bet they cost a few bob, did they?
-I got them on eBay.
You haven't even heard of eBay, have you?
-You didn't know what eBay was?
-No, not got a computer.
Never, in my life, been online.
-You're like a national treasure.
Yeah, like it. Looks good.
Very festive. Very inviting.
OK, I'm trying to inflate this Santa, man.
Look, we've not got much time. No more messing about, get blowing.
-Whose stocking is this?
Mamma Kay has come to stay for the festive season,
and she's helping them throw a party for their friends.
I knew I had the mulled-wine spices.
Abz, can you help me with the mulled wine?
Can I help you with the what?
I'll be right there, give me a second.
You have to inhale.
-# We wish you a merry Christmas... #
I hope they brought me a present for Christmas.
I've been a good boy this year.
-I'd love to see you get...
-# Never gonna give you up
# Never gonna let... you down
# Never gonna run around and hurt you... #
-Check it out!
You've come as Barry! We've got a Christmas cow, Barry. Look.
He doesn't quite float, but he hovers.
-Warm your cockles.
How are you doing, Sharon? Give me some love.
Nice to see you, sweetheart.
Give me some love, Geraint. How are you, young man?
Nice to see you. Bring yourself in.
-Merry Christmas. Welcome.
-Yaki da. Yaki da. Yaki da.
There you go. What's happening, Santa? How are you?
It's hot in this bloody thing.
There he is! I think we should put the fire out!
I'm not going to lie to you.
I've been to a lot of rock and roll parties in my time.
Up and down, crazy, naked.
This is about as wild as it's ever got for me, personally.
Wow, this is the Brit Award!
I shall present it to you!
OK, hang on. Here we go. Serious matter.
One year on, here, in this beautiful valley,
in this beautiful part of Wales, with all these beautiful people
here right now. There were times I thought,
"Oh, my God, I don't think we're going to make it."
The story's not over yet.
It's still early days.
But, seriously, we feel really accepted
and it's meant the world to us.
Thank you, Wales, for having us.
It has been an amazing first 12 months, man.
Merry Christmas. Wa-hey!
The worst thing is looking back at the end of your life
and saying, "Would it have? Could I have? Should I have?"
Let's do this. Don't know what that is.
What's the worst that can happen, man?
Death. Just come back, reincarnate, try again.
Everything's going to be all right. Always was, always has been.
Hey, honey. Just looking at the experiment.
Who knows what's next?
I don't know. Still feel like I'm going to get ate by a sasquatch.
This Christmas special catches up with rapper turned smallholder Abz Love and his girlfriend Vicky Fallon, as a tumultuous year on the farm draws to a close.
Over a Christmas drink by the tree, they reflect on the highs and lows of their new life. We see how their green money-making schemes - from rock-star eggs to alpaca rearing - fared and get a real insight into the hard graft of farming a small holding.
With no money in the bank but big plans for growing a new crop that will sustain them, Abz resorts to selling everything he owns on eBay. Over an astonishing few days, the auction for his Brit Award attracts bids of over £1 million, and as Christmas approaches, Abz and Vicky are optimistic about the future, bursting with plans and fully committed to their new lifestyle and the friends they have made in their wet little corner of Wales.