Daily Express

Robson’s off his shocker

- Mike Ward previews tonight’s TV

ROBSON Green packs a lot into the first episode of his new travel series. Among other things, INTO THE AMAZON WITH ROBSON GREEN (C5, 9pm) finds him learning about the rainforest and the diversity of its species, discoverin­g the importance of sustainabl­e farming practices, hearing about the faith which people place in the forest’s natural remedies, exploring the historical significan­ce of the rubber trade and being taught a traditiona­l dance that developed under slavery (mostly it was the Portuguese doing the enslaving this time).

He also meets lots of charming, hospitable folk, helps rehabilita­te an injured sloth and, on visiting a food market, stumbles across “what I can only describe as a dream”. I’ll leave you to guess what he’s referring to there.

But here’s the thing. Please don’t tell him I said this but at times it gets a tiny bit dull. Not so dull that

I’m saying don’t watch it, just a little too earnest, a little too awestruck, a little too nice.

Don’t get me wrong, nice is a fine thing to be. Broadly speaking, I’m very much in favour of nice.

But niceness alone doesn’t make for entertaini­ng TV.

You need something more. You need a bit of edge.

In shows such as this, what I personally like to see, dare I say it, is a bit more irreverenc­e.

Which, of course, is where we enter tricky territory.

You can’t make a travel show where you visit a far-off land and poke fun.

That would be horrible.These days it might even be a hate crime, I’d need to check. But there’s nothing wrong – nothing “offensive”, other than to idiots – in acknowledg­ing an element of culture shock, and having some innocent fun with it, when visiting places where life feels far from familiar. Just don’t over-egg it.

And make sure it’s your shock, not their culture, that you’re poking fun at.

Elsewhere tonight, THE GREAT BRITISH SEWING BEE (BBC1, 9pm) begins series 10 – and my, how time flies – with yet another new host.

Taking over from Sara Pascoe is actor Kiell Smith-Bynoe, best known as Mike from the sitcom Ghosts. To the best of my knowledge, Kiell is the only person to host a BBC reality show having previously competed in one of its celebrity specials. But I might be wrong about that.

Would you like me to go and check? Oh, thank goodness.

Finally, may I make a polite request to the makers of Channel 5’s new series A KILLER MAKES

A CALL (10pm)?

Next time you’re choosing a title for a true crime documentar­y, would you be so kind as to pick one which doesn’t have me singing it to the tune of an Abba hit?

Thank you so much.

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