Aficionados of Blackburn’s most famous literary son are in for a televisual treat.
The BBC is screening not one, but two separate celebrations of the Grumpy Old Fellwalker known to his colleagues as AW and to the rest of the walking world as, simply, Wainwright.
Right: a dog on Blencathra summit, one of the mountains featured in the BBC series
You’ll need digital telly to watch both, because they’re on BBC 4. The first will be screened on Sunday, 25 February, and is entitled Wainwright – the Man Who Loved the Fells. It’s due for broadcast at 8pm, though these days it’s notoriously difficult to say with certainty when a programme will go out due to the whimsical nonchalance of schedulers.
The second helping of Alf is due the following day at 8.30pm, again on BBC 4. Wainwright’s Walks is a series of four programmes hosted by someone called Julia Bradbury, who apparently is the former Los Angeles correspondent of GMTV. At the very least, she deserves our sympathy for having worked alongside both Jeremy Clarkson and Tony Christie.
Julia could be what the GOF would have described as a ‘modern type of woman’ and is sufficiently lithe to have brought a twinkle to the old borough treasurer’s eye, had he not shuffled off his mortal coil in 1991.
Her website, modestly named after herself, has a picture of her looking fetching in Gore-Tex on a Cumbrian fell top, while helpfully informing us that ‘Scafell Pike is England’s tallest mountain’ and that in the series ‘JB walks in the footsteps of famous fell-walker and guide writer Alfred Wainwright (also known as AW). The series includes beautiful ariel [sic] sequences of the Lakelands [sic] including Blencathra’ as well as the aforementioned tallest mountain in England.
If we tire of JB’s beauty, we can, grough is sure, rely on the beauty of ‘the Lakelands’ and see how both series compare with ER’s (that’s Eric Robson’s) heroic efforts to extract blood from a stone, or conversation from the monosyllabic pipe smoking Lothario, as seen in the last major television screening of AW’s fell jaunts.
We’d love to direct you to the BBC 4 website for full details. Don’t bother visiting there aren’t any.