Any travel activity should be reconsidered if you are issued with a “bear weapon”. Unless you happen to be a black bear, in which case someone is very rude about your personal hygiene. This is what the competitors in the new series of events Race Around the World (BBC First) were given by a ranger/Canadian-type person in Vancouver when they first set out on their journey across Canada.
“When do you use it?” asked one of the runners?, adding of course, “When are you charging?” “Yes…” said the old ranger. It’s a joke that only Canada can enjoy.
The Race Across the World, or more accurately this season, “Canada”, has been promoted to BBC One, which means … well, nothing at all, except that someone in your living room will not hesitate to say “Wasn’t this on BBC Two before” just to check it out everyone is still awake.
But there is no need for coaching. This has turned out to be quite a time – and a very close one. It just doesn’t start. Friends Tricia and Kathy, who met 13 years ago, couldn’t have decided, despite decades of friendship, how to get out of the beautiful park where they found themselves, and heading to the first milestone.
Canada looked hard at me. This comment is not about the people, but rather how you can get around in this gigantic country without access to the internet – the point of the game – because, crucially, no one is looking. Where is everyone? Is daytime telly the best in the whole world?
According to the World Wide Web, one of the most popular soap operas is called something Coronation Street with 800,000 views. Three cheers for the cobbles.
Hitchhiking is otherwise an illegal road, so brave challengers would call innocent people in small garage offices, “Hello, I’m from England, and I’m dying…”
They threw themselves upon the charity of these good men, who, after consolation, and sometimes supplication, worked well. One couple also went wild swimming with a local to celebrate the place where he first met his girlfriend, or something like that. We are touched.
Unbelievably, our personal favourites, Tricia & Kathy, though finally leaving the park and taking the inland tour route, made it to the ferry port to take them to the quarry with most of the others. Extraordinary.
One show is highly addictive, not least for the two stand-up dads and daughters who battle it out as a team.
“Every single one is bloody,” said one father – who hadn’t even seen a bear in two episodes yet.
Well, Brucie would have been proud. Was not Anthony du Beke well protected? One Star Dancer Strictly, then the Supreme Judge. Now the comrades of John Pernice are in the plainest and best way of Sicily ever. Anthony and Giovanni’s Adventures in Sicily (BBC one).
With nods to Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, these two soft-shoes tour this beautiful Mediterranean island showing sides to it we’ve never seen before.
James May and well-known tourist specialist Ray Winstone both toured the island recently with varied results, but Gio and Anton both brought a lightness of touch, along with local knowledge that most of us were clamoring for as a travel agent.
As Fred, Gino and Gordon break up – Gino D’Campo is to “leave” – Anton and Gio are poised to take on the mantle of the show which involves saying stupid things to each other in the baking sun.
And they don’t do well – “You’re just a beautiful, beautiful guy”, says Gio to Anton. When the Englishman returns, “You will be wonderful, my father, one day…” Are they trying to tell us something?
It was certainly a case of opposites attracting in terms of style, Anthony sporting a pale traditional panama and chinos, straight out of a fifty-year-old croquet club, with Gio more louche, in shorts and shirtless wherever possible.
But the Italian voice broke through, stunning everyone with their own rendition of O Sole Mio in the Sand Cave – everyone starts big here – leaving Antonlu to deliver the necessary line, “I feel it coming from Cornetto…”
Beautiful, take care!
You’ll never hear many people say, “I really enjoy watching them.” Grace “Bear” is much more likely. Peter James has returned for another ITV series, starting with He is dead to youthe horror story of today.
I have to say that the shocking story was completely dead to me. In fact, he pushed me all the way. Now there is nothing wrong with it, but there will be complaints to Ofcom due to sexual provocation before the waters.
It was too much. Most of us were horrified; if less, it takes everything well. John Simm played nicely, but not for me. Sweet dreams, there.