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Countryfile launches new daytime mini-series following best ever ratings

The BBC is launching a new Countryfile spin-off series after the rural affairs show achieved its highest ever ratings in 2015.

The broadcaster already airs Countryfile Seasonal Specials, but from spring 2016 these will be followed by five 45-minute daytime episodes across the following weekdays, called Countryfile Diaries.

The new show will put the focus on the changing of the seasons, and how this affects the landscape, its wildlife and the people who live and work in the countryside.

The BBC One factual programme enjoyed its highest ever ratings in 2015 - attracting an average of six million viewers.

This consolidated series average equates to a 29.7% audience share.

Executive producer Bill Lyons said: "The Countryfile family is a big one reaching a huge audience every week.

"It's wonderful that Countryfile has become the most popular weekly factual series on television, but it's all down to the enduring love affair between the British people and their countryside."

Viewing figures have risen since 2014, when Countryfile attracted a consolidated average of 5.7 million - with a 26.4% share.

The highest-rated episode of the series was filmed in Dorset and aired on November 22, with 7.8 million viewers - a 36% audience share.

Dan McGolpin, Controller BBC Daytime, said: "Countryfile is one of the best loved shows on television and Countryfile Diaries will allow BBC One Daytime viewers to further enjoy the full splendour and sheer variety of life in the British countryside during key moments of the year, starting with spring 2016."

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