Farrier & reality game show winner lands own show

By Larissa Chapman

General news

01 March 2012 15:08

Dean Dibsdall, winner of Channel 4’s Playing It Straight series, is to be the subject of a documentary on Horse & Country TV (Sky Channel 280), it was announced today.

The hour-long show, Dean Dibsdall: Model Farrier, will be shown on the channel in April and see Horse & Country’s cameras follow Dean as he deals with his new found fame while working as a specialist in horse hoof care.

As well as being a full-time farrier Dean, 28, from Leighton Buzzard, also works as a part-time model, winning the title of Mr Bedfordshire last year.

“I’m very excited to be doing this show with Horse & Country TV,” says Dean, “being a farrier and working with horses is the most important thing in my life.

“I hope fans of “Playing in Straight” will tune in and be really entertained while at the same time experience a world they wouldn’t normally get the chance to encounter.”

Jonathan Rippon, Head of Programming at Horse & Country, adds: “Dean is a complete natural on camera and has a hugely engaging personality which will make him a hit both with our regular viewers and those new to H&C.”

The show will highlight the tremendous variety of Dean’s professional life including working with miniature Shetland ponies, alongside vets to help lame horses, visiting a range of livery yards and taking part in a farrier competition at the Shire Horse Show as well as following his new experiences as a fledgling celebrity.

Dean has been a farrier for four years following in a family tradition that has seen three of his cousins become farriers too. After setting his heart on working with horses Dean underwent more than four years of intensive training at college as well as shadowing a qualified farrier.

“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I left school so one day went out with one of my cousins who was already a farrier and I just took to it straight away,” says Dean, “it’s a physical job and you get to work with animals outdoors in the fresh air – plus you’re your own boss.

“Working in such close proximity to horses isn’t without its dangers,” says Dean. “I’ve had a few broken bones and cracked ribs but you don’t mind when you’re doing something you love.”

E4 viewers saw Dean win the reality TV series in which straight and gay guys who are “Playing It Straight” competed to win the heart of female contestant Cara.

If one of the gay contestants had successfully deceived Cara and been picked by her he would have won the show’s £50,000 cash prize. As she chose Dean, one of the genuinely straight contestants, the two of them split the prize, receiving £25,000 each.

The documentary has been commissioned by Jonathan Rippon, Head of Programming at H&C TV, and is being made in-house at H&C by the production team responsible for other series on the channel such as Top Marks, When Nicki Met Carl and magazine show Rudall’s Round Up.