Mark Twain apparently once said that “golf is a good walk spoiled.”
Much the same could be said of Britain’s Favourite Walks: Top 100 (ITV, Wednesday, 8.30pm).
Another in the series of ITV’s interminably long countdowns of the country’s favourite stuff, this was undemanding, middle-of-the-road, M&S food hall fluff, its breakneck tramp across the countryside, careering from Scotland, to Cornwall, to London, to Northern Ireland, making walking dull, something other people do for some inexplicable reason.
Coronation Street’s Catherine Tyldesley, for example, looking uncomfortable in full make-up and a Gore-Tex anorak, took us to Pendle on the trail of the witches.
This route takes you through some of Lancashire’s most stunning countryside, past chocolate box villages and on to rough, unforgiving moorland in the shadow of Pendle Hill.
Add in the history of the Pendle Witches and their forced march to Lancaster, and it should be a walk to inspire poetry, or at least a sense of the permanence of history and the beauty of the landscape. All Tyldesley could muster was an insipid “it’s really enjoyable.”
Fronted by the queen of the outdoors Julia Bradbury and Ore Oduba, a man who never knowingly turns down a job these days, this was a walking show for people who don’t go walking and have no intention of starting. Like all the cooking shows which cater for people who don’t do the catering.
Just strap a Go-Pro on to a rambler, send them up in the Langdales for six hours and put the whole thing on as one those slow TV shows. That would give you a better idea of what walking can do for body and soul.
It might even have got Mark Twain out and about.
There was a super blood blue moon this week, although I never saw it, given that it’s been lashing down all week, but Wonders of the Moon (BBC1, Wednesday, 9pm) was an excellent substitute.
Next of Kin (ITV, Mondays, 9pm) has been a bit of a slowburner, but this week’s episode seemed to move the plot on apace, with more action, more tension and potential double-crosses.