Stephen Fry in America

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Well Stephen Fry in America was shown last night and as I have a great deal of passion and love for America (and a great deal of admiration for Mr Fry as well) I had to sit down and watch it. Which is rather unusual for me, I tend to sort of skate around British TV tutting like a disapproving grandmother and then go off to watch something American with bigger budgets, guns, superior writing or just from HBO (which normally ticks all four of those). But I have a fondness for documentaries and I've always adored the sheer diversity of America, all those wonderful contradictions wrapped up under one magnificent flag and ideal. I've always wanted to do what Stephen does in this series, take a vehicle (a motorbike in my case) and visit every single state. Thanks to Stephen I can do it from the comfort of my armchair or while taking the train to work.

There is one thing that you can always be sure of when Stephen is involved, and that's facts. You're going to get a wealth of information about the places he visits. Heck QI has revealed things I've never forgotten - like "The UK has the most tornadoes per year in the world" (of course visiting google now informs me that it might only be second behind the Netherlands, but that's stupid science facts, they always end up contradicting the ones that came previously) and my personal favourite "If you throw a cat out from a seventh floor window (or higher) it will survive unharmed". (Please, don't do this - I don't want to get blamed for cats landing on people).

Back to my point, which is once again Stephen doesn't disappoint, he provides a wealth of interest about the states he visits, especially the wonderful Rhode Island homes and a simply fantastic cabin type building located in a State that eludes me right now. It's the first in a series of six programs and there is also an accompanying book which doubtless contains a wealth of information not broadcast.

I thought it was a simply delightful way to spend an hour and it's just strengthened my resolve to go back to the US and visit some more States (So far I've been to New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama) I will certainly be watching again next week.

Of course it would be completely inexcusable if I didn't at least plug Stephen's very own blog, which is over there in my blog roll and here's a direct link to the post with an extract from his book. A book I plan to purchase tomorrow.

Stephen Fry in America is on BBC 1 Sundays 9pm - 10pm for the next five weeks. The DVD will be available from November 17th. It's also available to watch on the BBC iPlayer here.


2 comments so far.

  1. Aaron 18 October 2008 at 23:36
    The cabins were in New York state. And yes, they were amazing sturctures.
  2. Matt 29 October 2008 at 16:54
    OK - finally got around to watching this. Good recommendation - I'll be trying to get hold of the episodes I've missed and the up and coming ones.

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