Hunting campaigner and star of Two Fat Ladies, Clarissa Dickson-Wright, and British journalist Janet Street-Porter will go head to head for the Countryside Alliance’s Rural Hero of 2008 award.

The award, to be announced at the House of Lords reception on 18 March, celebrates skill, produce, traditions and enterprise of the Clari countryside.

Clarissa, of TV show Clarissa and the Countrymen has been described by Countryside Alliance awards director Jill Grieve as a fearless champion of the rural way of life.

Jill said: “Clarissa has been one of hunting’s most vocal supporters throughout the on-going hunting campaign.”

Outspoken Janet’s courageous support of British veal on the TV show “The F Word’ attracted voter-attention, whilst apparently boosting sales of the meat in Waitrose, by 45%.

Jill said: “Janet’s constant no-nonsense support of our food sector through her column in the Independent is much needed and very refreshing.”

Hertfordshire-based farmer, Ian Pigott, and chairman of the Tockwith Show, Les Wake, were also announced as potential heroes.

Jill described Ian’s Open Farm Sunday — a national event that opens the countryside up to a whole new audience and promotes farming in an accessible way — as a summer must-do,

Whilst branding Les’s Youth committee as essential in retaining farming’s heritage.

This is the first year that the Rural Hero category has appeared in the annual awards.