In my last post “Travelogues” I listed a number of famous personalities who have done TV travelogues, or similar programs, here is a quick overview of what they have done, as far as I can remember.

Home Grown

Michael Palin Great Railway Journeys, Around the World in 80 Days, Pole to Pole, Full Circle, Hemingway Adventure, Sahara, Himalaya, New Europe and 80 Days Revisited
Billy Connolly Journey to the Edge of the World, World Tour of New Zealand, World Tour of Ireland, Wales and England, A Scot in the Arctic, World Tour of Australia and World Tour of Scotland
Stephen Fry America and Last Chance To See
Ewan McGregor & Charley Boorman Long Way Round and Long Way Down
Charley Boorman London To Sydney By Any Means and Sydney To Tokyo By Any Means
Paul Merton China, Indian
Griff Rhys Jones Rivers, Mountains
Griff Rhys Jones, Dara Ó Briain and Rory McGrath Three Men in a Boat, Three Men in Another Boat, Three Men in More Than One Boat
Victoria Wood Victoria’s Empire
Martin Clunes Islands Of Britain
Robbie Coltrane B Roads of Britain
James May and Oz Clarke Wine Tours – Big Wine Adventure (France and California), Drink To Britain
John Sergeant On The Tourist Trail
Julia Bradbury Rough Guides, Railway Walks, Wainwright’s Walks
Kate Humble Frankincense Trail
Sir Trevor McDonald The Secret Caribbean
Bruce Parry Tribe, Amazon (and some others I haven’t seen yet)
Ray Mears Extreme Survival, Bushcraft, Wild Food, Goes Walkabout, Northern Wilderness


Across the Pond

Anthony Bourdain No Reservations
Andrew Zimmerman Bizarre World
Adam Richman Man v. Food

If I’ve missed anyone I’m sure one my many readers will remind me.


I’m off to Manchester soon – on the train for a gig. Its not really ambitious travel, but until my long weekend in Italy next January and my drive home for Christmas it’s all I’ve got.

As much as I am looking forward to all three (yes I am looking forward to my trip to Manchester,  its a break from the norm, a railway line I haven’t been on and it’s been a while since I’ve been down the curry mile for a meal. Plus last time I went to Manchester I didn’t have time to check the food in China Town.

Its at times like this I tend to turn to books, magazines, various internet site and yes – what has been refared to as my “whopping electronic canvas suitable for opening a small-time cinema“; the TV.

I have been reliving Mr Palin’s Travels (I have lost count as to how many times I’ve seen them now) it got  me thinking about who else has done a travelogue. I’m not going to look at Pilot Guides/Globe Trekker here – suffice to say I enjoy it.

Well Billy Connolly, Stephen Fry, Ewan McGregor & Charley Boorman, Paul Merton, Griff Rhys Jones (with and without Dara Ó Briain and Rory McGrath), Victoria Wood, The Children In Need 80 Day Challenge Team, Martin Clunes, Robbie Coltrane, James May and Oz Clarke, John Sergeant, Sir Trevor McDonald, Julia Bradbury and Kate Humble are the only one I can think of for now. I’ll add Bruce Parry and Ray Mears to the list as their shows are about travel and/or different cultures.

Our American cousins who are lucky enough to have the Travel Channel – have the likes of Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Zimmerman and the ever hungry Adam Richman amongst others to watch.

Unlike many “critics” I am by no means going to rip these people apart, or their producers why would I – they provide me with entertainment, escapes, inspiration and fuel my dreams. Those that think not another famous personality (I refuse to use the “C” word) getting to travel, funded by someone else’s wallet – good for them – if I was in their position I would be sending letters, faxes and emails to every producer and television company I could to get them to pay for me to do something like this – who wouldn’t?

As far as comparisons go everyone of the names above (with the exception of Bruce Parry and Ray Mears) are going to be graded against Mr Plain – the only one I feel can compete is Billy Connolly, although Stephen Fry does come close too. For those who are music fans consider this – there is only one drummer worthy of being the best ever and no one with any sense can argue with this – Animal. There is only one man who can come close to him – Keith Moon. Like all other drummers, there is yet to be another travel presenter who can compete.

So please just enjoy the show – have a little escape and wish it was you doing it.