Our Guy in India, Channel 4 - TV review: A passage through India made into a 'mega' joyride

Guy Martin is one of the most idiosyncratic personalities on television

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If you’re not into either motorcycle racing or engineering you may never have come across Guy Martin before, and that would be a shame. He really is one of the most intriguingly idiosyncratic personalities on television and his presence at the centre of Our Guy in India is just what’s needed to get the tired celebrity travelogue genre up to speed.

The motorcycle racer and lorry mechanic is off on a 1,000-mile journey around India, but since he’s “not a holiday sort of boy”, this wouldn’t be the usual sightseeing tour of Holi festivities and the Taj Mahal. First things first: he needed to kit himself out with a bike, so it was off to Karol Bagh, the biggest bike market in India to purchase a Royal Enfield. This magnificent beast has fallen out of fashion in its native England, but continues to be the make of choice for Indian biker gangs, like the Free Soul Riders who took Guy under their wing.

Next stop was Asia’s biggest truck yard, which wouldn’t make many traveller’s itineraries, but Guy was as happy here as a pig in the proverbial. (For comparison, there were some actual faeces-smeared pigs hanging around the lorries and, if anything, they seemed to be having less fun.) Guy’s not the introspective sort, but we were updated regularly on the status of his “backside bother”, plus there were occasional excerpts from his travel journal.

Everything was “mega”, except for the opportunity to paraglide over spectacular scenery, during which he actually dozed off: “I’m not gonna lie to you, that’s not my thing. There’s no speed involved.” As a travel companion, Guy Martin might not be profound, but he’s never unoriginal.

 

From Guy’s hometown of Grimsby, it’s only a short drive up the motorway to Last Tango in Halifax, the under-appreciated Sally Wainwright drama that last night concluded its tear-soaked third series with an upbeat, even slapstick finale. It was the day of Gillian’s wedding to Robbie (there’s always a wedding in the offing on in this show) and it fell to Caroline (Sarah Lancashire) to defrost her step-sister’s cold feet. This is Caroline, who was recently bereaved so shortly after her own wedding. Good, old Caroline.

Ever since Kate’s surprise death introduced a ghostly apparitions into a previously no-nonsense Yorkshire community, Wainwright has been having fun experimenting with the form of her drama. This episode jumped back and forth between the wedding day and the events of the past few weeks, as an agitated Gillian relayed to calm Caroline how her wedding had become “a glorified peacekeeping operation”.

Gillian being Gillian, this story involved one or two ill-advised fumbles in the back of a Land Rover, but the more interesting developments were with her money-bags long-lost brother Gary (Sherlock’s Rupert Graves), whose neediness was starting to make everyone uncomfortable. Along with Caroline’s new live-in “manny” Greg, he’s one of two new characters that bode well for a fourth series.

Last Tango in Halifax is a show built around family and romance, that of septuagenarian love birds Celia and Alan, but this series has had neither a romantic relationship nor a blood tie at its core. Instead, it’s the deepening friendship between Caroline and Gillian, that’s been the real revelation.

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