This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
A Man’s World Flatliners Tour de Flats


DAVID FLATMAN explains why doing TV might just be the best job in the world


I


am here to tell you that doing TV is hard work. Of course, one is never permitted to declare this in public, but true it remains. I recently received an email from the bods at BT Sport, asking me


if I fancied coming with them on what they called “A French road trip with some good lads”. Reading this – and predicting a bit of filming getting in the way of an all- expenses-paid jolly – my man thumbs couldn’t type ‘oui’ fast enough. All was agreed, unnecessary contracts were signed,


and the obligatory nice car was delivered to my house. This, so far, was a bit of a dream. I had visions of driving through France with mates producing what, to all intents and purposes, would end up looking like rugby’s version of The Trip with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, with added carbohydrates and a lower average IQ. Then the schedule popped up on my phone: ‘Day 1:


4.30am, begin filming at Dover Hotel.’ Alarmed, I scanned through, hoping to have a lunchtime finish to look forward to. Instead, our predicted wrap time was midnight. As it happened, we didn’t finish until 1.15am, with filming beginning again at 6am the next day. And all the while, we were repeatedly being directed over walkie-talkies from the camera car to “be funny, for god’s sake”. Let’s just say we got through a decent amount of vile French motorway services coffee. Oh, and lots of cheese. With my campaign for general martyrdom out of the way,


let’s concentrate on the good times. I have no idea whether or not the TV types will edit all of this stuff out or not, but there were periods during which we had to pull the car over as driving was no longer possible. Admittedly, this was often due to the extreme levels of hydration achieved by my


co-driver, England and Wasps player James Haskell, but it was also – twice – because we were laughing so much that I lost all control. Not terribly safe, so please don’t tell anybody from Land Rover, who provided the wagons in good faith. We were prank calling England international players


from the car, stitching them up in all sorts of mortifying ways and, once or twice, Haskell said something that got me so hard that I began to cry with laughter mid-call. Now, this isn’t ideal when trying to be serious on a hands-free system, so try to picture me with my head out of the window on the French AutoRoute, crying my eyes out at 80 miles an hour. As I said, hard work. The best moment of all came when, parked outside a hypermarché between takes of me getting back into the car, we noticed two old grannies on the pavement staring at us and shaking their heads, presumably as they had just seen us running away from a tabac in hysterics having liberated a couple of glasses for our in-car water, our mission being to look more sophisticated on camera. We decided that mounting the curb in our massive car and crawling towards them – all the while looking away and chatting as if we didn’t know it was happening – was a good idea. Let’s just say that they made their dissatisfaction known, primarily through the use of their walking sticks on the bonnet of said car. We were paralysed, and therefore unable to respond to the walkie-talkie cries of “Noooooo” from the nerds in Car One. They were long, repetitive days and yes, it was properly


hard work. Having got home to Bath at 3am on Thursday, I slept for what felt like a week. I woke knackered but still smiling. Seriously, Jeremy Clarkson might be an idiot, but he’s an idiot with the best job in the world. BL


0.7% no vat on property sales (for limited time only) 11 Chapel Row, Queens Square, Bath BA1 1HN | 01225 476 464 | info@bathpropertyagents.com


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116