TELEVISION / BRIEFING: Package deal from Provence

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The Independent Culture
You've read the book, you've heard the radio adaptation, you've seen the television series, you've taken the Radio Times tour, you've drunk the wine; now witness the backlash. In 'Nightmare in Provence', the first part of tonight's WITHOUT WALLS (9pm C4), writer Paul Eddy rails against the Peter Mayle industry. Eddy contends that his near neighbour in the Luberon has misrepresented that corner of France that is for ever England. In Mike Lerner's documentary, Mayle, who gave the world the deathless words 'Nice one, Cyril' and the script of Wicked Willie, the talking penis, says he would be delighted if people followed him to Provence. His words - 'it's quiet and it's lovely and it's uncrowded' - are accompanied by pictures of coachloads of tourists (or pilgrims, as Eddy prefers to call them) cramming a narrow Provencal street. Never a man to leave a dead horse unflogged, Mayle has now written a novel, Hotel Pastis. This centres on an English adman who buys and does up an old Provencal house and always gets the better of arguments with another ex-pat, a bitter writer obsessed with 'the rape of the village'.

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