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Monday, November 17, 2008

They've all gone to look for America

I caught fifteen minutes of Stephen Fry In America last night. I feel I've seen no end of prominent British broadcasters wander around America with a film crew in tow: Clive James, Michael Palin, Alistair Cooke, even Jonathan King. There must be plenty of others that have slipped my mind. Memory may be playing me false but it seems that now they spend less time finding out anything about the places they're visiting than they ever did. Last night Stephen was in Alaska. I gathered the following:
1. It's cold;
2. It's beautiful;
3. The Inuits hunt whales;
4. Some of the fish are very ugly;
5. Stephen Fry has been there.
Then he went to Hawaii. I learned the following:
1. It's warm;
2. It's beautiful;
3. The Hawaiians resent the tourism;
4. The sunsets are very beautiful;
5. Stephen Fry has been there.

Then I got a bit anxious watching Fry interview people. In real life he is probably a very good listener but that's not his TV persona. He looks like a hyper active kid who's been told to fold his arms and sit still. We expect him to be spouting forth while other people listen to him in wonder and admiration. And he's very self-conscious about his size and shape. He lacks the streak of fearlessness that made Palin so good at this kind of thing. When he was lowered in the cage to be filmed swimming with some apparently docile sharks he really couldn't wait for it to be over.