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Continental Railway journeys

 
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Toggy



Joined: 18 Aug 2008
Posts: 1239

PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:32 pm    Post subject: Continental Railway journeys Reply with quote

Does anybody else watch this? I think it's one of the best/most interesting programs around at the moment.
I did not have much, if any time for Michael Portillo when he was in politics but has taken to presenting like a duck to water.
He seems to me like a thoroughly decent chap, the sort I'd be happy to sit down and have a cup of tea with.

The first program was about Spain with stops in several places, it ended in Gibraltar.

Looking forward to the next installment this coming weekend.
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ruddlescat



Joined: 16 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm afraid Toggy that I come at this from the completely opposite angle

I used to have respect for Mr Portillo in his days as a Cabinet Minister in the eighties and whilst I agree that he is a very accomplished television presenter these days he's done a complete U Turn in my view for the sake of furthering his own career

I love his series on British Railway Journeys and for me it's compulsory viewing but why on earth is a man who in the past has been so high profile in criticising everything evenly closely linked to the EU now getting involved in this kind of programme when he would be far better off perhaps doing a series about the Beeching era in Britain highlighting all the branch lines which were axed in the 1960s and how if many had been kept we might not have a public transport system in chaos in 2013

I'm sorry but I simply dont give a s--t about European railways in circumstances where the European state is responsible for destroying most of out British heritage Evil or Very Mad
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Toggy



Joined: 18 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't be sorry, you are entitled to your opinion.

I don't see though how his anti EU stance should effect his liking for European railways, besides he is part Spanish.
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ruddlescat



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Toggy I do take the point that he is of Spanish heritage - I meant to mention it but it's been a very long day for me today - I've been up since 3 am Shocked
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Helen May



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've recorded this Toggy and I always look forward to his Railway Journeys.

H
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Colin



Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 916

PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ruddlescat wrote:
I'm sorry but I simply dont give a s--t about European railways in circumstances where the European state is responsible for destroying most of out British heritage Evil or Very Mad


Come on, be reasonable. Portillo is following Bradshaw's guide and all of these programmes are not so much a study of railway systems as they are about regional and national culture in their respective locations. Having watched the first 10 minutes or so I'm now recording the show as I write (it's getting late) but I love the way that his insight into architecture, local customs, cuisine and of course politics is wrapped up with Portillo's informed and passionately-delivered commentary on what he sees today in contrast (or otherwise) to Bradshaw's.

I'm not particularly interested in railways, but I'm very interested in the culture of other countries. And I don't think the EU is destroying ours, either. There are aspects of British tradition and culture which are stronger now that they have been for many years.

I agree with Toggy - all of these series have been fabulous and is the kind of production that the BBC does so well.
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Colin



Joined: 26 Sep 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Toggy, I watch the remaining half of the programme this morning over breakfast. What a delightful documentary from El Portillo. He travelled through some stunning Spanish scenery and visited two of my favourite European cities - Cordoba and Sevilla.

I really like his presentation style; it's so good when the person in front of the camera has a real passion for the subject in hand.

When we first started visiting Spain regularly back in the late 80s/early 90s (I think we've been to the country more than 30 times) I noticed a lot of buses in Andalucia bearing the name "Automoviles Portillo" (literally "Portillo Cars" but in the context "Transport" presumably) and wondered about the connection. He confirmed the family connection in a documentary he made about the Spanish Civil War a few years later.

I'm envious of his owning a house in Sevilla!!!
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ruddlescat



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Colin - I wasn't aware that Bradshaw's Guide covered any rail journeys outside the British Isles - am I wrong on that point?

I completely agree that Portillo is a good presenter and watch the original series avidly but taking the thing outside this country is in my view a step too far

As I've already said there are many other aspects of the history our own railway system which would be of far greater interest than having Mr P gadding around Europe - perhaps he's planning on doing a Michael Palin and checking out railway journeys at the North Pole next Smile
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Helen May



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a Bradshaws European Railway guide Ruddles.

H
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I said it live on air in the studio with Jeremy Vine on 10/3/2005
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ruddlescat



Joined: 16 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Helen May wrote:
There is a Bradshaws European Railway guide Ruddles.

H


Thanks Helen - I didn't know that and I must say it surprises me given the situation in Victorian times

Just proves the point we learn something new every day Smile
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Colin



Joined: 26 Sep 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ruddlescat wrote:
... taking the thing outside this country is in my view a step too far


Why? It made bloody good television. Not only is this not his first foray over the channel (he's done programmes in Switzerland and Germany) but it proves that there's a healthy appetite for this format. It was well researched, well managed, well presented, beautifully shot (by the director himself, indicating a minimal crew) and superbly edited.

And I learned something I didn't know before - that the engineering design and construction of the line from Madrid to Algeciras was the responsibility of British engineers, masterminded by John Morrison. You do indeed learn something every day.

Surely the justification for the series will be supported (or not) by the audience figures. However, going by the popularity of the many series to date it has a lot of mileage in it. I certainly hope so.

Next week's is northern Italy, ending up in Venice. Can't wait.
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ruddlescat



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you might be undermining one of your most well known positions by bringing in the issue of audience figures Colin

We all know that one Mr Evans has the highest audience figures of any show on R2 but I think we agree that this is meaningless because a smaller discerning audience for a quality programme far outweighs the mass indoctrination pushed on people by constant trailers and people who listen by default rather than because they actually choose to do so

In so far as audience figures may be relevant I suspect they will prove to be a great deal lower for the 'European' experiment rather than the original British based series but only time will tell

In actual fact when this once great country finally escapes the shackels of the corrupt and undemocratic EU - and believe me it WILL happen - then huge numbers of people like me can perhaps actually enjoy watching shows of this kind knowing that it's simply a look at the transport system of a foreign friendly trade partner country rather than representing the interests of an undemocratic big brother organisation with an extremely hostile agenda Smile
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Toggy



Joined: 18 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Colin wrote:


Why? It made bloody good television. Not only is this not his first foray over the channel (he's done programmes in Switzerland and Germany) but it proves that there's a healthy appetite for this format. It was well researched, well managed, well presented, beautifully shot (by the director himself, indicating a minimal crew) and superbly edited.

.


I agree entirely with this, glad to hear you enjoyed it.
I love hearing about different cultures and hearing about the diversity and the history of other countries.
Mr Portillio is obviously very interested and enthusiastic about these things too, this comes over in his presentation which makes it all the more enjoyable.
And doesn't he have an interesting collection of loud shirts and pastel blazers. Laughing
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Colin



Joined: 26 Sep 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ruddlescat wrote:
I think you might be undermining one of your most well known positions by bringing in the issue of audience figures Colin

We all know that one Mr Evans has the highest audience figures of any show on R2 but I think we agree that this is meaningless because a smaller discerning audience for a quality programme far outweighs the mass indoctrination pushed on people by constant trailers and people who listen by default rather than because they actually choose to do so


To be honest, I don't really care either way. I just avoid Evans because he continues to annoy the hell out of me so it's a case of "out of sight/earshot, out of mind"! However, Portillo's "Bradshaw" programmes are indeed immensely popular to the point where the production company has been recommissioned by the Beeb to make more.

ruddlescat wrote:
In so far as audience figures may be relevant I suspect they will prove to be a great deal lower for the 'European' experiment rather than the original British based series but only time will tell


I have absolutely no idea why that should be the case. Last night's programme was superb and I'm sure lots of other people think the same.

ruddlescat wrote:
In actual fact when this once great country finally escapes the shackels of the corrupt and undemocratic EU - and believe me it WILL happen - then huge numbers of people like me can perhaps actually enjoy watching shows of this kind knowing that it's simply a look at the transport system of a foreign friendly trade partner country rather than representing the interests of an undemocratic big brother organisation with an extremely hostile agenda Smile


You're missing the whole point. It's not "just looking at the transport system of a foreign friendly trade partner country", it's using the rail system as a vehicle (literally) to appreciate culture, landscapes, people, customs and engineering achievements. I'm more than happy with that even if you aren't.

And to be be honest, Ruddles, I personally think all the antiEU stuff is utter nonsense in this context and has nothing whatever to do with the merits (or otherwise) of the programme under discussion. But hey - each to his/her own.
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Toggy



Joined: 18 Aug 2008
Posts: 1239

PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent second program in Italy, Verona looks lovely but I really liked Lake Como. I found the bit about the Fiat factory with it's rooftop test track interesting too.

I think it is Germany next week.
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