Most of us are still trying to come to terms with the crushing blow that Danny Dyer is to quit EastEnders. In further news, the ultimate cockney geezer announced his next venture would be a series of travel shows – would you Adam n’ Eve it?!
Google’s handy guide to rhyming slang is available for those wondering what that last bit’s all about. Anyway, here’s yet another celeb who’s going to inform, educate and entertain us; all in the name of a paid vacation or six. Only, they rarely do.
Nearly five-and-a-half years ago, an article titled ‘Should cooking get stuffed?’ appeared right here on Roobla. The (correct) argument was that cookery shows provide an important service, but at the same time there are far too many. Take a squizz at the schedule for any given day and you’ll see a whole raft of travel repeats, many of which seem to wash-up on the same beach.
Recently, the BBC have been delving into the archives and shown repeats of Michael Palin‘s groundbreaking documentary series, Around the World in 80 Days and Pole to Pole. Following this, Joanna Lumley’s Girl Friday has also been on the BBC4 schedules. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you need to be a highly-educated national treasure to present these things, but they both added doses of humour and gravitas in equal measure, therefore more than satistying the criterion mentioned in the second paragraph of this piece. They also captured the mood and the whole atmosphere of wherever they might be, taking you with them on their journeys.
But it seems that the one downside of these historic forays was that they seemed to herald the era of “I’m a celebrity, fly me to some far-flung destination, especially one I couldn’t possibly find on a map”. Billy Connolly was next to have an adequate stab (and he’s amassed a fine body of work within the genre since) but things could only get worse. How many more American road trips can we possibly stomach? And who thought Jack Whitehall: Travels with my Father was a good idea?
ITV are currently giving us both ends of the scale. It was a masterstroke signing-up Lumley to reignite her unbridled passion for going on hols – honestly, is there anyone better? Meanwhile, Bradley and Barney Walsh continue to underwhelm with Breaking Dad. Channel 4’s offerings over the last few years – Coach Trip, What stays in Kavos and the more recent Party Island: Summer in Zante – do inhabit the trashier side of travel TV, but at least they don’t pretend to be anything they’re not (and they do entertain some of us). Much like Sky One’s Ibiza Uncovered back in 1998, there’s the sex-factor if all else fails. Would you want to see many of the famous faces presenting the more traditional travel show half-naked? Let’s stick to their faces, please.
It’s wonderful to gaze at some exotic destination from the comfort of your own living room, and picture yourself there… sometimes. So let’s tone it down a bit, save on some airfares, and put the money towards better programming. We don’t need Danny Dyer to be the billionth celebrity to tell us that it can get quite hot in Death Valley.
What do you think? Is there too much travel on the telly, or are you dreaming of Danny? Let us know!