DIANNE BUT­LER OUT OF THE BOX

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Friday -

TONIGHT on Coast it’s the sandy beaches and salt marshes and mud flats of East Anglia, Neil Oliver an­nounces at the start of the show, wind in his hair.

Do you think he got the job on ac­count of his hair? I mean, yeah, sure, he’s an ar­chae­ol­o­gist and a his­to­rian, but have a look at that hair. It’s par­ty­ing like it’s 1992.

This episode

is a 200km jour­ney from King’s Lynn to Felixs­towe, and there’s plenty of his­tory there. Some of it’s bor­ing (‘‘And if you weren’t fish­ing for her­ring in Great Yar­mouth, you were pro­cess­ing the catch . . . ’’), but some of it is very bor­ing. (A toss-up here be­tween Cromer’s crab­bing competition and the aban­doned US mil­i­tary in­stal­la­tion at Or­ford Ness.)

But if you’re in­ter­ested in how, say, a mas­sive flood can come out of nowhere and cause mas­sive dam­age, there’s some­thing here for you on that. Jan­uary 1953. High tide, low at­mo­spheric pres­sure, 300 end up dead. Dave Hock­ing lives in Snet­tisham. He was 18 at the time; he lost 29 of his clos­est friends and says he still goes down to the beach and cries even now.

‘‘ The sea has no friends,’’ Dave says, look­ing a bit del­i­cate. Ev­ery­one thought it was

Host with the coast: Neil Oliver go­ing to hap­pen again in Septem­ber 2006, but it didn’t, and two men with a bucket and a length of plas­tic pipe show us why not.

You might also be in­ter­ested in the yarn about WWII Y-sta­tions. Joy Hale used to in­ter­cept Ger­man sig­nals, and says one key thing she lis­tened for was the first name of the com­mand­ing of­fi­cer: ‘‘ Friedrich, this is Gun­ther, and Gun­ther, this is Wolf­gang,’’ she says. Ex­cit­ing, isn’t it? Kind of re­minds me of Dad’s Army.

There’s also a story about piers. Some of them are very old, and clearly not built by the Bris­bane City Coun­cil.

Coast is like a pack­age hol­i­day. You won’t care about some places, while wish­ing you could stay longer at oth­ers. Coast SBS, 7.30pm

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