The Mekong River, BBC2, review: The Great British Bake-Off co-host is funny, affable and inquisitive

For once, when Perkins complained of a soggy bottom, it was no baking innuendo

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The Independent Culture

The Mekong River with Sue Perkins (Sun BBC2) proves there’s someone ideally suited to snatch it away when he’s not looking. In this four-part voyage along “the greatest river in South-east Asia”, the Great British Bake-Off co-host is funny, affable and inquisitive – everything a great travel presenter ought to be.

This week she arrived in Laos, the poorest of the Mekong nations, where she went fishing with a local character, taught English to some Buddhist monks, and visited the construction site of the huge and controversial Xayaburi Dam. TV has an irritating habit of inviting unqualified celebs to hold forth on complicated issues, but everything Perkins said on Laos’s economic future was considered and insightful – despite her claim to be “a grade A numpty”.

And, for once, when she complained of a soggy bottom, it was no baking innuendo. Her actual bottom was wet, from wading knee-deep in search of edible river weed – a local delicacy, apparently.

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