Is this the most intense man in the UK?

Posted on November 29, 2010

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Is Neil Oliver from the BBC's Coast the most intense man in the UK? (Screenshot obtained from http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00wkc0c/Coast_Shorts_Ravenscar_to_Hull/)

Watching TV can be hazardous for your health. Viewing commercial channels can result in broken bones, grazes, fights and in some rare cases death caused by ill-fortunate leaps for the remote when in an advert you hear “Go Com…”

Similarly I have noticed a new and altogether more sneaky parallel on the BBC who obviously have developed a complex. Inexplicably a programme called Coast continues to be inserted into an evening’s schedule at random intervals.

For those few lucky individuals who have managed to avoid doubling their blood pressure whilst viewing this programme – Coast follows an intense Scottish man who travels around the UK filming various parts of our coastline – whilst attempting to cover up the obvious dull, grey, blomange subject matter with the kind of delivery that would be more suited to advertising the latest James Cameron film.

If you haven’t seen it, watch as much of this episode of Coast as you can bear before reading the rest of my blog – it will make much more sense.

I would have happily accepted an apology from the BBC after the first series to every household paying a licence fee, in writing, to admit that it was an experiment gone wrong – or a GCSE geography lesson that has got out of hand.

But it has been inconspicuously airing for many years now. As far as I am aware it has neither received praise nor criticism in any form, it has remained a non-entity.

I have had enough.

Where does his enthusiasm come from? I can think of only two likely reasons:

1) He is the world’s finest actor and deserves a swift rise to fame. A remake of Braveheart perhaps?

2) He has unresolved childhood issues born from viscous bullying at school by rich kids taking the piss out of his family holidays to Skegness. (Before anyone has a fit about the ignorant Southerner remarking on a popular Northern Coastal resort, I have actually been  to ‘Skeggy’ – and I wouldn’t wish the experience on my fiercest enemy)

Assuming Hollywood is not keeping a big secret about no. 1, the 2nd option must be closer to the truth. All I ask is that this breakdown is not broadcast to every home in the UK. He would stand a much greater chance of dealing with his demons in a nice quiet room with a trained individual who can assist in dismantling his unhealthy obsession.

He could even have his energy redeployed into a constructive force. Imagine his voice spearheading talks and discussions about global warming. Americans love Scottish accents – send him to Texas! Please someone buy him a ticket to Houston, Texas to explain that not everyone needs to drive 12 litre fuel-guzzling monsters to the shops every day.

It could really work!

In researching for this post I forced myself to sit through a whole 5 minutes of Coast on the iplayer. I passed into a semi-psychotic rage which almost caused upwards of £5 damage.

Happily for my screen and speakers I pacified myself with a Jeremy Clarkson column in The Sunday Times and he gets angry enough for the both of us.

And whilst I’m at it – when and why did Antiques Roadshow ship all their presenters to Australia to film episodes there? What’s the deal with that, what UK demographic is the BBC trying to appeal to? Not a big ranting point, but is there a chance we could leave them there?

You’ve guessed right if you’re thinking I have spent this weekend mainly watching TV with my parents.

Extra points are given to those who have deduced that the cold weather has driven me to cabin fever in my cocooned, warm, insular room.

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Posted in: TV Reviews