HERE WE GO AGAIN...
I was looking forward to this series, which is now in to its final stages of four films produced by BBC South West. Now I am a proud member of the South West Coast Path Association, which exists - having been instrumental in establishing the 630 miles of coast path from Minehead in Somerset to Poole in Dorset - to maintain and promote the path for visitors and residents of the south west region.
And I`m the first to accept that it was always going to be difficult to condense 630 glorious miles into four half hour programmes. But not for the first time, the BBC have failed dismally to capture the essence of a subject not only by cutting out huge chunks of the journey but also by pandering to the whims and fancies of a presenter who should know better.
They did the same with the `Coast` series which started off full of good intentions but drifted into programmes which were more about the presenters than what they were supposed to be presenting. So far every edition of `Coastal Path` has seen the presenter, one Paul Rose, seemingly unable to resist doing things rather than simply walking the path and showing us what it`s really like.
Tonight`s third episode saw him training with the military in Plymouth, snorkelling around Burgh Island rather than showing us the island, driving a train from Kingswear to Paignton and taking part in an RNLI rescue training exercise. After all that, there was not much time in a half hour programme to capture the essence of the coast path itself - its solitude, its changing character, its peace, quiet and the invigorating experience of just walking it.
It is an immense disappointment and so I still, very optimistically, look forward to a series of programmes that does just that. The BBC won`t ever do the coast path justice - perhaps, having snaffled that Bake-Off thingy, Channel Four might ?