COUNTRYFILE viewers have voiced the same complaint after the latest episode, which saw presenter Sean Fletcher touching a rare copy of Dracula.
Sunday’s latest instalment of Countryfile took viewers to the gothic seaside town of Whitby, in Yorkshire, which was celebrating 150 years since the publication of Bram Stoker’s classic novel, Dracula.
As Countryfile presenter Sean Fletcher, 48, noted at the beginning of the episode, the gothic novel was “partly inspired by Whitby landmarks, events and folklore” because Stoker had visited the area in 1890.
While visiting Whitby, Sean went to the famous Abbey where he met Susan Harrison, a curator from English Heritage. There he was shown a rare first edition of Dracula from the 1890s, which was signed by the author.
“It’s unique,” Susan explained. “There are a number of first editions, but the fact that it is signed by Stoker makes it incredibly special to us to display it here at Whitby Abbey.”
Sean was visibly excited by the book and asked, “Can I have a hold?”
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The presenter read Bram Stoker’s inscription and discovered the gothic novelist had signed the book in 1901, before joking that it was a little difficult to read his writing.
However, the excitement of seeing a rare, signed copy of the gothic novel was cut short for viewers who all had the same complaint about the exchange. They were shocked to see Sean handling the book with his bare hands.
One surprised viewer took to Twitter to voice their complaint, saying: "surely the presenter should have been wearing gloves while handling such a rare book.
“I wish the fella holding the 1st edition Dracula book was wearing gloves,” another viewer said, while others replied in agreement.
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“Agree, my thoughts exactly,” one person replied.
“Definitely !!!” another added.
The viewer added to their original tweet, saying that they were “quite surprised” that it wasn’t a prerequisite for the Countryfile presenter to wear gloves.
“It’s so precious,” they added.
However, the curator wasn’t wearing gloves and one viewer explained why this might have been.
“Generally, providing your hands are clean, it’s considered safer not to wear gloves when handling paper because it’s easier to tear when wearing gloves,” they explained.
Countryfile is available on BBC iPlayer.
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