November 23, 2010

A Rant

Has your television got one of these?

Mine has and its been working overtime.

I met Jeremy Wade at a fishing show at the NEC. Having read and re-read Somewhere Down The Crazy River that he co wrote with Paul Boote, I was eager to hear what he had to say about Mahseer so I talked him into doing a talk at the BS Conference.

He's an interesting bloke, obviously from a very privileged background and able to travel widely and indulge himself. He spoke with great enthusiasm about India, his recent trip to the Amazon and his quest for the Arapaima. He came across as a decent sort.

However, I have just been watching the latest in his 'River Monsters' series and I do wonder what planet JW is actually from and what sort of of an impact his trashy little program is having on the public's opinions of fish?

Obviously made for an American audience, the program plods along with every point reiterated ad nauseum and each dramatic recreation shown over and over. I hate this form of delivery, it really does play to the dumbest member of the audience and leaves anybody with three or more brain cells frustrated. Bloody Yanks. But that is not the worse of it, its the whole demonising of each species of fish that irks me!

For those of you that have missed it, the premise of the show is that Jeremy heads off to all corners of the globe in search of 'monsters' of the deeps that have a history of dragging poor native children from the banks into their watery graves. Each species is made out to be more dangerous than the last and the hyperbole comes thick and fast.

His claims, in tonight's show, that a modest catfish could pull a fisherman to his untimely death was just ridiculous (whatever happened to carrying a knife so that you can cut the line in the event of a dunking?). In a previous episode the Wels catfish was portrayed as a man-eater and I think next week he claims that a gudgeon once ate a horse. It really is rubbish.

In these days of health and safety (don't get me started), can you imagine the pitch to the TV executives? "We are going to dangerous places to try to catch man-eating fish and will be in mortal danger 24/7". Its not going to happen is it? This is just a guy on a fishing holiday selling out to "The Man" for a few shillings and it sucks. What really annoys me is that a properly presented program about one man searching the World for large and exotic species could appeal to a wide audience but once again the television companies bottle it.

Of course, to get a minority interest show on mainstream TV you need a 'celebrity'. Quite why this is so I really don't know but it is just one more dumbing down of TV and the media in general. Enter Robson 'kin Green. I cringe at the thought that the many anglers around the world that meet this precious little prick will believe that the rest of the UK's anglers are so whiney and ungracious. Now here's a bloke that should be introduced to a true man-eater.

But I keep on watching. I know, I should turn the bloody thing off but its fishing and we are starved of new material so I am yet another hopeless case just hoping that it may improve.

For those of you that crave some escapism I'm currently reading 'Globetrotter's Quest' by Tony Davies-Patrick, (reduced to £15 at Carp Talk books), I just wish we could have something like this on the telly.


  1. Tut tut Dave, getting cranky in sunny Herefordshire LOL.

    This weeks was not his best, i suppose if he does not catch a big fish then the programme will lack any real content. The programme on the Tiger fish was really good, i remember seeing a picture of one for the first time in Somewhere Down the Crazy River and not really believing what i saw.

    Still he beats John Wilson's inane laugh LOL

  2. I agree that the Goliath Tiger was a special fish but he did imply that they black up like ninja's, climb out of the river, attack unwary villagers and steal their handbags.

  3. Dave,

    Turned it off after five minutes,crap.Like you say it's not really aimed at anglers and I will not be looking in a again.

  4. Its a shame I think for as you say he seemed a nice bloke, I sat next to him at dinner and Scottie employed him to do a talk later.

    Just the way of producers today I think, lots of crap telly seems to be made this way. Drives me wild so I dont watch.

  5. In my humble opinion "Globetrotters Quest" is a really good read with some of the best photography you will see in any book fishing or otherwise!!

  6. Right on Wazzy1 - although he does whing a bit about every little upset. We all stick hooks and baiting needles into ourselves but don't make a song and dance about it. Mind you, when he got shot I suppose he did have something to moan about :-)

  7. I quite like the bloke, although the bit about getting a hook in you and getting pulled over board was done to death. As you say carry a knife and cut the line simples. You have to admit that the bloke does endure some arduous journeys that the like of us wouldn't even survive. I get fed up of mozzies in Blighty and moan and whine like hell. I seem to recall one or two others on here doing the same.

    It's a British trait, like a fat bloke calling Frank Lampard fatty from the terraces. It's way better than Knobson Green who I can categorically state that I have despised well before he went near a fishing program. I don't like people from the North East who try to deny their roots until they see the folly of their ways in middle age. You know who else did that but I forgave him because he is extraordinarily talented.


  8. By the way my Bullshit detector meter goes up way past 30 all the way to 100 with better than 0.5% RMS accuracy.

  9. Hi there,

    I think your assessment of the show is inaccurate. Jeremy always starts with a story that demonizes the fish and then proceeeds to (in many cases) debunk the assessment. Also your statement about Jeremy's being from a priviledged background is grossly inaccurate. If you read his book from 2011 (River Monsters) the complete opposite is the case.