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Friday, 01 August 2014

Rory McGrath's new TV show provides timely boost for the Lakes

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BOOST: Rory McGrath with two of the colourful characters featured in his new television series, The Lakes Ian Cartwright

REVIEW: The Lakes, ITV1 last night 8pm

UNTIL a recent conversion to all things Cumbria, comedian Rory McGrath was best known for the BBC comedy sports quiz They Think It’s All Over.

Now he has switched sides to front up a prime-time, 12-part series called The Lakes, which should give a timely boost to the county’s tourist trade.

Hotelier Thomas ‘The Gladiator’ Noblett was the first of an array of colourful characters set to be featured over the coming weeks.

Mr McGrath – who also took part in Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling along with fellow funnyman Paddy McGuinness for Channel Five last summer – kept to a background role, although his amusing reference to the large availability of ‘walkie walks’ was hardly from the Wainwright manual.

Mr Noblett, the exuberant manager of the Langdale Chase in Windermere, took centre stage as he prepared for a 21-mile, night-time charity swim up and down the lake, having already conquered Kilimanjaro and completed the London Marathon.

But there were also slots for former Peterborough IT worker Amanda Davies, as she opened a tearoom in Windermere, and for Martin Casson’s hot air balloon company.

The latter featured a heart-warming proposal at high altitude and the romantic nature of the Lakes makes it the backdrop for more than 3,000 marriages each year.

Some 15 million people visit Cumbria annually, which helps contribute more than £1bn to the county’s economy and supports around 36,000 jobs.

And tourism bosses are hoping the programme will help encourage visitors to return to the Lakes and other parts of the county after a slump in tourism following the November floods.

Ian Stephens, chief executive of Cumbria Tourism, said: “This series is a great opportunity to put the Lake District and Cumbria into the homes of millions of potential visitors every week as we start a new tourism season in 2010.

“It also showcases the dedication of the individuals who work hard each year to ensure that visitors to Cumbria have an enjoyable and memorable stay.

“It really could not have aired at a more valuable time.

“Over the course of the 12 weeks, viewers will have an opportunity to see some of Cumbria’s most recognised sights and also some of the lesser-known areas and we are thrilled to have this stage of a national audience.”

The coming weeks will feature Patrick Gordon Duff Pennington, the owner of Muncaster Castle; Guinness world record holder, George ‘King of the Eggs’ Taylor; barrister-turned-farmer, Thomas Ballantine Dykes and his wife Lynn; and the Lake District National Park Authority wardens and rangers.

GRAHAM DIXON

 

Do you agree with Graham? Leave your review of the programme below.

Have your say

This series has been wasted in endless repetition and seemingly blatant advertising of the 'Langdale Chase' hotel ..... there is so much more to the lakes than has been shown. Some absolutely beautiful areas have so far been ignored and the programme appears to have centred itself merely on the Windermere/Bowness areas and Mr Nobblett and his hotel. I only hope it ventures further soon.

Posted by Diane Clarke on 1 March 2010 at 23:07

A briliant subject spoilt by endless repitition (15 mins of actual program stetched out to 30 mins) and over loud music making the commentary difficult to hear (a problem repeated in almost all documentaries these days!)

Posted by Tim Kerridge on 22 February 2010 at 21:07

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