I’ve finally found the job for me.
A job that I not only want to do but am pretty sure that I could do.
The only fly in the ointment is that the post is already taken. By Oz Clarke and James May.
I’ve greatly enjoyed watching the last two series of their “Big Wine Adventure”. Series one saw them clodhopping their way across Europe, supping wine from every vineyard north of the Equator – and even dipping an inebriated toe into the wines of California. Series two they concentrated more on Great Britain and beer. Plainly more of the budget went on intoxicants than on air miles in series two but you can hardly knock the lads for wanting to reduce their carbon footprint.
They are an oddball pairing but one which seems to work. Oz yearns to educate the palate and mind of all around him while James' sole purpose in life is to pull the rug out from every wine-tasting oik that he encounters. The friction between the two is in the nature of friendly fire and is bizarrely entertaining.
Man banter I believe it’s called. And it works because the mentally adroit Oz Clarke is a secret lad at heart and the charmingly boorish James May is a secret Brainiac. They kind of fulfil both the best and the worst of each other in a boozy bezzy-mate man-on-man type marriage thing – only thankfully without any of the hanky-panky and sweaty-hairy stuff. Phew. I really don’t think their beer guts would allow such shenanigans anyway.
Basically the show is like a lad’s night out compressed into a half hour slot, with the bad language sanitized, the peeing over your own shoes glossed over and the embarrassing chat-up lines deleted... with the extra advantage that our heroes sup the poisonous brews on our behalf and suffer our hangovers by proxy.
Quite frankly it’s the best night out I’ve had in a long while and it didn’t cost me a penny. They even threw in a curry one week and you can’t say fairer than that.
Best of all each week I was home on time and wasn’t sick over the carpet / wife / cat / lava lamp.
But I digress.
Mr Clarke and Mr May were no doubt paid vast sums of licence payer’s money to “live the dream” for a couple of months while a temperate and Methodist film crew doggedly filmed their every move and ne’er touched a drop between them for the duration.
And let’s face it, the crew didn’t need to. May and Clarke must have consumed enough quaffables to completely submerge a south sea archipelago or three.
And I bet the BBC paid for all that booze. And the curry. And the petrol and the caravan they supposedly lived in. I bet May and Clarke didn’t have to dip into their own pockets for anything. Not even to spend a penny.
I mean bloody hell, how the hell do you get a gig like that? What qualifications do you need (aside from being already famous)?
I mean, I can drink beer. I can drink wine. And as for eating curry, well, I can do that with my eyes closed and my mouth open. Easy peasy lemon Brinjal.
And I bet I could sleep in a caravan with either James May or Oz Clarke without compromising my lad-hood to boot. I’m as qualified as the next man.
But I bet I’m a darn sight cheaper.
Come on, BBC. Give me a chance! I’ll even wear a ridiculously flowery shirt if you pay me nicely.