Richard Wilson on the Road, ITV - TV review


Click to follow
The Independent Culture

It seems a shame that the star of Richard Wilson on the Road is undertaking such a romantic trip all alone. This dapper dresser with GSOH seeks passenger for a driving adventures around England in a vintage 1960s Daimler – no feet in the grave and two on the accelerator.

Wilson didn't even have the sat nav to keep him company, instead following the 1930s Shell Guides, one county per episode, starting in Derbyshire. He tucked into both a Bakewell tart and the lesser-known Bakewell pudding in their namesake town, toured the dilapidated Georgian baths at Buxton and paid tribute to the 1932 mass trespass of Kinder Scout that helped wrestle the Peak District from the grip of the landed gentry, ensuring its beauty would be available to all. "I love a bit of civil disobedience!" purred Wilson. "It just goes to show what a small group of people can achieve if they stand together."

There are now far too many of these programmes in which a TV personality of yesteryear invites us to tag along on their jolly hols. See also Penelope Keith's Hidden Villages and Great Canal Journeys with Timothy West and Prunella Scales, but the England that Wilson presented us with is irresistible. That view of the viaduct from Monsal Head on a high summer's day, certainly beats the view of a wet January high street as seen from my office window.