My life would be considerably improved if there was a proper TV travel channel. Not one of these pretend travel channels, where they lump together elderly documentaries of various types, usually filmed abroad and give the false impression that this is, somehow, a travel channel.
I was born in the wrong country of the wrong parents and grandparents, at least weather wise. My mum came from the Netherlands which is even more grey and murky than England, my grandfather came from Norway where it gets very cold. I should have been born somewhere where it’s warm all the time, but I wasn’t. I come from Bristol where we have a maritime climate, which is to say wet.
I am used to wet. It’s been wet all my life. Go on holiday in England? It’s cold, it rains. Always has done, always will do. I can go somewhere warmer once or twice a year, to burn my skin and make my jowls sag, but mostly I am drying myself off. Why can’t I see something nice on telly?
A TV guide can take me around the Greek islands, visiting the various beaches, eating at the top tavernas. I promise I won’t get jealous, or at least I’ll try not to, but I want to see the blue sea and the blue sky. Sometimes, the view from Battery Point in Portishead is just not enough.
Perhaps, the host can go to the Maldives for me and let me watch. I want to go there more than anywhere on earth and when I get there I want to do precisely nothing, apart from grilling gently and eating and drinking too much. I can just about put up with watching someone else do it.
My travel channel will concentrate on resorts, although trips to historical sites and inland villages are permitted, provided that, at some point in the show, there is a beach involved, or just a sun lounger by a pool. I cannot think of a better form of inactivity than lying on a sun lounger, reading a book and forcing myself to get up, now and then, to get a cold beer. As I cannot afford to do this all year round – and believe me, I’d love to try to – then I need to do so second hand.
On a traditional dark winter’s day, bring me the Balearics, the Canaries, the Ionian, the Indian, the Northern Sporades and so on. Don’t, if you can help it, go too far away. Oz would be okay, provided my instructions are followed, but best keep it all local.
I want a proper TV channel featuring places I have been to or could conceivably hope of visiting. If the powers that be can have an armed forces channel, various sports channels and even, believe it or not, a God channel (yes, he’s got his own channel. Let’s hear it for God.) then a decent travel channel is not much to ask, is it?