THEY`RE AT IT AGAIN...
So, another series of the BBC Coast programme has just hit our screens - we`re now up to Series 9! Now all those years ago when it started, it actually seemed to be about the coastline of the British Isles and so it was a good idea, especially for the BBC with the commercial spin-offs of books, DVDs and what have you. But as time and the series have gone on, the original concept of showing the glories of our coastline has become lost amongst a welter of programmes about Australia, the European coast and programmes more about the indulgences of the `presenters` than what the viewing public might expect from a programme called `Coast.`
I saw bits of last week`s effort and all of last night`s second in the series and I almost despair that the BBC have still not done the justice to our coastline that it deserves. One of the wonders of this country is, of course, the 690-mile long South West Coast Path leading from Minehead in Somerset around to Poole in Dorset but last night the only concession to this national treasure was a `feature` about the Victorian hunt for ferns around Lynmouth, gushingly `presented` by some daffy woman who was clearly more interested in ferns than Lynmouth.
The picture above shows yet another daffy `presenter` taking a ride on the big dipper at Blackpool to demonstrate the physics of fear - just about as far away from the glories of the coastline as it`s possible to get. Add to that the perennially effete Mark Horton indulging in the historical aspects of Lundy Island and I`ve given up with Nicholas Crane, who went back to somewhere he`s been to before in this programme obviously because he likes the north west coast of Scotland.
The BBC website for Coast helpfully includes a facility to allow viewers to suggest how the programme might be improved, so I`ve responded by saying that it`s simple really - just ditch all the oblique, manufactured features vaguely connected to the coast and just allow the coastline to speak for itself. It might turn out to be a travelogue, but I suspect that`s what the viewing audience might prefer rather than this increasingly self-indulgent, over- presented, very annoying and hugely expensive interpretation of our island shore. And who knows, the BBC might sell more DVDs and books if they got back to the basics of what they`re trying to do.