Following the successful tour of “Jones and Smith” last year – his one-man, stand-up and story show about his partner, his untimely death, their relationship and the onset of ageing – Griff Rhys Jones is going back on the road to explore the subject of travel.
Where was I? takes as its starting point some of Griff’s personal jaunts from the last 15 years. He has sailed a boat to St Petersburg and around the Med. He has travelled in Morocco, the Galapagos, India and Australia. But mostly he has ventured forth to work for TV, making Greatest Cities, A Slow Train to Africa, In Search of the Black Rhino, Burma and The Forgotten Army, several series of Three Men In A Boat and programmes on mountains, rivers, lost routes and tribal art.
He’s going to look behind those “making of” snippets for the real truth about TV travel. He has wandered from The Torres Straight Islands to Mali, from Moscow to Dar Es Salam, ridden “the train of death”, jumped from a burning boat in the Galapagos, sat with tribal elders and been ordered off their island. He has unwillingly climbed up mountains and abseiled down waterfalls, gone window cleaning on New York skyscrapers without a safety rope and clambered through Manchester’s most demanding sewers. And all without the help of Bear Grylls.
Griff will be telling plenty of funny stories but also musing on the nature of travel itself – about the differences between travel and tourism. Why do we go? What are we searching for? What do you need to pack? Why does television demand jeopardy, incident and immersion? And what exactly does that mean for your sanity? Ben Loyal in a blizzard. Upside down in the Wye rapids. Falling out of a coracle. Why does it all have to be so arduous? It’s the truth about making travel television. And the truth about wanderlust.
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