BBC holiday
I have a vested interest as I've done some TV work in the past. But I keep wondering why exec producers aren't commissioning travel TV these days.

Remember Holiday and Wish You Were Here?

People are talking about bringing back Top of the Pops - which I'd suggest won't work as there is sooo much competition from YouTube and MySpace - but what about holiday shows?

It seems that nowadays if you're commissioning travel, you have to have either:

1) A celeb to front the show.... Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman being obvious ones. The first show they did Long Way Round didn't get commissioned by the BBC. They did eventually get it broadcast on Sky but I seem to remember there was little interest from the mainstream terrestrial broadcasters. Wind the clock forward a few years and Charlie is getting commissions to go solo to places. Lovely guy, but not the most passionately interesting of presenters in my opinion. And not the sort of traval normal people do

2) Some kind of hard core specialisation.... Amazon with Bruce Parry being the ultimate example. Awesomely experienced, brilliantly passionate presenter who really IS the show. You could argue the fantastically talented Ray Mears fits in here too. Again... hardly the sort of travel normal holidaymakers can aspire to.

3) Branded shows... I'm thinking The Rough Guide to series. Which I found rather uninspiring. I don't like the list format very much. A bit... lazy, but at least there's breadth there AND it's within the reach and aspiration of normal holidaymakers. Why they couldn't use real Rough Guide users instead of presenters I don't know. Missed a trick there I'd say. Of course the BBC now owns Lonely Planet... I keep waiting for the first Lonely Planet TV show. It can't be far away can it?

Holidays are a major part of most people's lives. We plan them, we spend big chunks of our cash on them, we get excited weeks before we go, we take pics whilst away and talk about them to our mates when we are home.

Travel is inspiring and exciting by its very nature. Far more so than say - doing some DIY. But look at the avalanche of me-too DIY shows we've been stuck with over the last decade...

Why is there no travel for travel's sake on TV?

4 thoughts on “Why are there no holiday programmes on TV?

  1. Hi Jeremy, we have similar tastes. Amazon was awesome, Long Way Round was good but let down by slightly whingy complaining presenters. Holiday & Wish You Were Here? were a little tame and mainstream. I think the problem is people have such personalised tastes when it comes to travel and there is so much content available online. Must be some room for innovation.

  2. Hi Ben
    Thanks for commenting. Seems to me that most of the innovation in 'real' travel programming (by that I mean a show about travel for travel's sake rather than one fronted by a celeb or an expert) is taking place on the Travel Channel (www.travelchannel.com). It is weird though that more of their productions - which they often own the rights to aren't bought up by the terrestrial broadcasters in the UK.
    Congrats on the beta by the way... looking good ;-)

  3. I don't understand it either - the British public LOVE to travel and even in these troubled times, survey after survey indicates the annual holiday is the last thing we would sacrifice. Commissioners are missing a trick but meanwhile 'made for internet' travel programming is fast expanding. I'm not talking about UGC but professionally shot quality programmes, up to date footage and first hand reports which give viewers a genuine flavour of a place. Respite from celebrity obsessed TV listings.

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