Simon Reeve was just packing factor 50 sun cream, Imodium and Twinings tea into his adventure rucksack ready for a romp around South America, when Corona struck. Well, he wouldn’t be needing that sun cream now would he… and hopefully not the Imodium either?
Like the rest of us, Reeve was left listless at home. But BBC Two had other plans. They swapped the aforementioned items out for a cagoule, walking boots and a map of the south west coast, sending him on his merry way down to Cornwall. The result is two hours of insightful telly packed with both personal and community histories, broken up with mid-pandemic panoramic shots of the beautiful Cornish coastline.
There’s been a bit of chat about documentaries over sentimentalising Britain’s favourite tourist county, most notably from Tanya Gold in The Telegraph, but even she loves this one. She says Reeve “is a serious journalist, and he took the time to visit the foodbank at Camborne and spend time with a group of young fathers, exposing more truths about Cornwall than the landscape and the animals that live in it.”
And writing himself for The Times, Reeve explains that he “strove to show the side of Cornwall that isn’t normally seen by visitors, whether that’s deep in the mining tunnels, on the allotments outside the troubled post-industrial town of Camborne or meeting people who are trying to farm in a radically new, sustainable way.”
And the payoff is huge. This is a brilliant, well-rounded Cornwall doc, that keeps honesty at its heart whilst still chucking in enough shots of those gorgeous clifftops and beaches to get us excited for our summer holidays.
First shown November 2020.