Oliff’s Life

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Michael Palin was on TV recently promoting his new book and television series about Brazil.

He was asked if there were countries he hadn’t visited on his travels: there weren’t many.

I began to think about the household names that have given us some amazing insights and “fly on the wall” access to some of the most remote, inhospitable regions of our planet.

Places we will never go. Terrain and landscapes as inaccessible to you and me as that of Mars or Venus.

I remember Alan Whicker jet-setting around the world allowing us all to live the exotic dream via the small box in the living room.

Judith Chalmers took us on faraway holidays, taking the tan for the team!

Professor Brian Cox is oft to be found on volcanic slopes of dramatic proportions brilliantly theorising about the beginnings of life, the universe and everything.

A thought occurred to me that these are just a few such travelling educators down the years from this country alone and, that being the case, there must be thousands of such broadcasters from hundreds of countries all travelling the world doing the self same things for home consumption.

One can only imagine, as in a classic Monty Python-type sketch, all these khaki-clad presenters rabbiting to camera as another 50 crews from other countries are passing in the distance or hanging from trees as the natives search out honey from the rain forest canopy.