14 April 2000

ELIGIBLE ERIC IS ON SHORTLIST…

A WEST Country farmer is competing with models and actors in his bid to become "Britains Most Eligible Bachelor".

Eric Palmer from Kingsbridge, Devon, has been shortlisted for the accolade in the May issue of Company, a glossy womens mag.

The 31-year-old cites modesty, trustworthiness and a hard-working nature as among his attributes. And as for his ideal woman? "Someone compassionate. Some-one with dark hair, dark eyes – Mediterranean looking."

Erics not fazed by the competition. He reckons farmers have some unique qualities to offer. "Someone who is prepared to get up in the middle of the night to calve a cow will also be the sort of person who will get up in the middle of the night to feed the baby."

When asked what the most romantic thing he had ever done was, he told Company: "One Valentines Day, we had a lot of snow so everyone was stranded, so I drove to my girlfriends in a tractor."

And, when asked what he dreamt about last night, he replied: "That the sheep escaped – I woke up in a cold sweat."

Readers of the magazine will now vote for their favourite bloke.

"A vote for me is a vote for UK farming," says Eric, whos vowed to use the fame that winning would bring to highlight the troubles in agriculture.

So, that just leaves the one question. The one everyones dying to know the answer to:

How big is it?

"400 acres," says Eric.

Model farmer… Eric Palmer.