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Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

AYBE it’s down to the suc­cess of The Best Ex­otic Marigold Ho­tel movies and the BBC se­ries they helped to in­spire, or per­haps its partly due to Prunella Scales, Ti­mothy West and their Great Canal Jour­neys, but there cur­rently seems to be a trend for a new type of TV trav­el­ogue in­volv­ing send­ing some of Bri­tain’s vet­eran celebri­ties off on hol­i­day to­gether.

The most re­cent en­try in this sub­genre though is A Celebrity Taste of Italy. If you’ve missed the first two episodes, it fea­tures ac­tress Rula Len­ska, pre­sen­ter Johnny Ball, Dad’s Army star and some­time EastEn­der Ian Laven­der, fit­ness guru Diana ‘the Green God­dess’ Mo­ran, and a woman with ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence of TV travel, former Wish You Were Here...? host Ju­dith Chalmers.

To­gether, they’ve moved into a Tus­can villa to sam­ple the de­lights of Ital­ian life and learn to cook some of the coun­try’s clas­sic dishes. So far, the celebs have met the Ital­ian aris­to­crat whose fam­ily in­vented Chi­anti, a world-class gelato maker and a flirty lo­cal fish­er­man who seemed to have taken a bit of a shine to Rula. Mean­while, Ju­dith has met plenty of Bri­tish tourists, most of whom seemed to want a selfie with her. Some of which must have surely ended up on so­cial me­dia with the cap­tion ‘Wish You Were Here?’.

Now, this week the quin­tet wants an au­then­tic Ital­ian ex­pe­ri­ence – and if they can com­bine it with a spot of pam­per­ing, so much the bet­ter. Rula and Diana head to the lo­cal sul­phur springs to get slathered in vol­canic mud, which may or may not con­tain the se­crets of eter­nal youth, while Johnny and Ju­dith have an olive-oil mas­sage.

But the re­lax­ing day takes a stress­ful turn when Ian is taken ill, forc­ing him to bring his Ital­ian ad­ven­ture to a pre­ma­ture end. Once they’ve re­grouped, the re­main­ing four ven­ture off the tourist trail to find out what real Ital­ians do – but was a tast­ing ses­sion where they drink olive oil what they had in mind?

Pasta, of course, is also on the menu as Ju­dith gets a one-toone mas­ter­class on how to make her hus­band’s favourite dish.

Then, the gang spend a night at the opera in the nearby city of Lucca, but will they en­joy this more cul­tured end to the lat­est leg of their grand tour?

And given that this is the penul­ti­mate episode, will the four­some all be ex­perts in Ital­ian cui­sine by next week’s fi­nale?

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