Countryfile star Tom Heap overwhelmed as brave Ukrainian breaks down in tears

Countryfile presenter Tom Heap was left overwhelmed after an emotional conversation with a Ukrainian farm worker during Sunday’s episode.

Viewers were enjoying an insight into rural areas in Hampshire and Staffordshire where presenters met several Ukrainian refugees and uncovered how local communities had come together to welcome and support them.

Tom, 57, spoke to Ukrainian refugee Grigori at Dearnsdale Fruit Farm in Staffordshire in heart-wrenching scenes.

Grigori told Tom he was supposed to come to the UK with his wife Valeria on a six-month visa.

Tragically, Russia's invasion came four days before their scheduled departure. As he broke down in tears over his homeland, he said: “Sorry!”

He then walked away. “I help my city how I can. We built protection buildings and when we built these protection walls, we heard a lot of explosions, but we not stop,” he explained.

The pair finally reached the UK in May after living through three months of the war. “This was our decision to come here and to leave my parents,” Grigori said.

“Every day the situation can change, but this war will not stop tomorrow and I must support them from here.” 

Tom said: “It’s agonising … he’s so brave."

“Don’t forget about the war in Ukraine,” Grigori said. “This is very important. Don’t forget.”

 Tom was at the helm on Sunday night with co-hosts Margarita Taylor, Matt Baker and Adam Henson.

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“This was our decision to come here and to leave my parents,” Grigori said. “Every day the situation can change, but this war will not stop tomorrow and I must support them from here.”

The farm worker was overwhelmed speaking to Tom about his parents, saying he wakes up every day hoping to get a message from them that they are safe. He was so emotional that he had to take a moment to collect his thoughts.

Tom was also visibly moved by the heart-wrenching conversation he had with Grigori. “It’s agonising … he’s so brave,” he said when the farm worker stepped away.

Before speaking to the farm worker, Tom explained to viewers that foreign workers are vital for the British berry industry. Nearly 8,000 tonnes of berries rotted in 2021 because there weren’t enough pickers. Historically, it’s Ukrainians who make up the bulk of the workforce, he noted.

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