Outfoxed by a heroic failure

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If Bafta hands out awards for heroic failure, the producers of The Countrymen: "The Foxhunter" (8pm BBC2) can start writing their speeches. Their attempt to make Barry Todhunter seem like a normal chap with a normal hobby tries everything: soaring, misty fells, Emmerdale-ish music, and images of bucolic country sorts singing their hearts out in front of roaring pub fires. And still Todhunter, who narrates his own story, comes out smelling of silage.

Todhunter is the master of a Lake District foxhunt, a position he has craved since childhood, but his attempt to persuade suburban softies that hunting is a clean, healthy and humane pursuit may stir more emotion among his fellow enthusiasts. Certainly, he deserves to be congratulated for his candour. Most hunts would be reluctant to allow the filming of a kill, but to Todhunter it is a source of pride and exhilaration, and nothing to be ashamed of. And when it comes to the practice of sending in terriers once their quarry has gone to ground, again the proud huntsman shows it as it is, hopelessly failing to grasp that his heartfelt advocacy for the defence could hardly offer a stronger case for the prosecution.

Thankfully, Todhunter and his ilk are in a hole - and sanity is about to send in the terriers.

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