Dom Joly: If Cornwall enters this century, tweet

Related Topics

I've been filming down in Cornwall this week. First stop was Padstein … sorry, Padstow, the little Cornish fishing village that has been totally overtaken by the TV chef Rick Stein. We ate at his famous Seafood Restaurant, which lived up to the hype and was absolutely fabulous. Our hotel, on the other hand, left a little bit to be desired. Our director of photography c hecked into his room before quickly returning to the front desk to complain that somebody had clearly died in there over the past three days. The receptionist looked shocked, not at the accusation, but as to how he had found out. Meanwhile, I tried to get on the internet. It didn't work. I turned on the telly, but only got one channel. I gave up trying to access the 21st century and had a shower … or tried to. I turned on the hot water and somewhere in the bowels of the building, something ancient and mechanical stirred. I managed to lather myself up with soap before whatever it was gave up and died. The water turned into a cold trickle and I was left having to wipe myself down with a 5in towel.

The next day, we were filming at a rather lovely stately home. The owners had made it quite plain to our location department that, given the choice, they would rather not have public riff-raff wandering around their property, but lack of finances had forced their hand. This didn't stop them from behaving like minor royalty.

I was all made up, in character and in the middle of filming, when they came down among us like a royal visit. Despite clear indications that we were in the mid-shoot, they stopped to chat with me before embarking on a circuit of our "hidden" cameramen, standing next to them and engaging them in a "so what do you do?" kind of interaction. I'm very much of the view that if you have a fabulous house and can afford it, then good for you. But if you're broke and have to open it for the great unwashed to tramp around, maybe it's time to sell up.

Next up was a rather spooky drive down misty lanes to Land's End. When we arrived, the fog was so thick we could barely find our hotel, the downstairs part of which looked promising. But upstairs it was back to Fifties Britain. Tom, one of our cameramen, best summed up the general view. When he left his room the following morning, he hung one of those signs on the door, having changed the wording so instead of "Please Clean My Room", it read "Please Update My Room." Things like this keep you going on location.

Even better was news at breakfast that one of the rooms was haunted. At first, we presumed it was the one given to Jools, our dour soundman, who had been shown into a room that even Terry Waite would have taken one look at and refused. It looked as if they had taken one booking too many and rapidly converted a broom cupboard. It turned out the ghoul had been allocated to Jess, my make-up girl, known as "Teeth" as she is the keeper of my false gnashers on set. She had not spotted the ghost, but had left her telly on all night to scare it away. I was just jealous that she had television.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A Gold Ferrari sits outside Chanel on Sloane Street  

Sunday Times Rich List: We are no longer in thrall to very rich people

Terence Blacker
David Cameron was openly emotional at the prospect of Scotland leaving the union before the referendum  

Remember when David Cameron almost cried over Scotland because he loved it so much?

Matthew Norman
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions