Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

April 04, 2006

Paul - the next Michael Palin?

Merton heads east for Five

John Plunkett
Monday April 3, 2006

Paul Merton has been signed up by Channel Five to present a travel documentary series about China, his first major TV role outside of the BBC for a decade.

Merton will cast a "wryly observant eye" on China's new cultural revolution in the four-part series, Paul Merton on China.

The programme, made by Tiger Aspect, is his first travel series and the first time he has appeared on Five.

"China is a fascinating, lively place, changing at a rate that makes your head spin," said Merton.

"I love to travel and the chance for me to experience the curiosities and beauty of this huge and unbelievably interesting country was an opportunity I couldn't resist."

Merton is best known for his role on BBC1's Have I Got News for You and also presents Room 101 on BBC2.

Apart from regular roles in ITV's Christmas Pantomime, he last appeared outside of BBC1 in ITV's 1996 Hancock revival, Paul Merton in Galton and Simpson's...

Five said Merton would look at all aspects of China, including the "ancient and modern, comic and shocking, copycat western and vibrantly oriental".

He will visit the Forbidden City, tour China's version of Disneyland and see how Beijing is preparing for the 2008 Olympic games. He will also visit Sock Town, where two-thirds of the world's socks are manufactured.

Chris Shaw, the Five senior programme controller of news and current affairs, said: "Paul is the perfect person to entertain and inform us about this mysterious, weird and important country and we're thrilled to have him do it for Five."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

YOU are fantastic. Tremendous, heartfelt thanks at your dedication to Just A Minute, I'm so glad I found your site! And this blog! I'm a huge fan of JAM, Paul Merton, Clement Freud, etc and it's great to have a source out there! Great and interesting news about Paul, too!

9:23 am  
Blogger Dean said...

thanks :)

4:58 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would love to see a programme where he visits the Philippines!!!

8:11 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the show was utter garbage. he is so not the next michael palin. it was embarrassing to watch to be honest. michael palin has insight, a love of travelling and a natural way that people he meets seem to warm to. paul merton on the other hand came across as a crass, short tempered pikey experiencing his first ever trip abroad.

11:21 am  
Blogger MarjFaith said...

I was fascinated by the ROBOT man so funny too. I thought Paul was brilliant to get on in there and meet the colourful characters of China. Just the way I like to travel not be the tourist... I am looking forward to more..

12:32 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was disgusted by Paul's approach to China. It was embarrassing to watch. He came across as a rude, stupid tourist on his first trip. He provided no insights and no compassion or understanding of the chinese or their country. Instead he merely went from one tourist sight to another churning out his own preconceived small minded opinions as profound. Horrible to watch.

8:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought he was remarkably honest and questioning for a mainstream broadcaster. Not what I'd expected from Channel 5 either, so works for me all round

8:53 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul Merton was garbage, he was often rude and unlike Michael Palin he did not warm to the chinese nor they to him. I often felt embassesed by Paul Merton's attitude, he went to China not to learn about the country but to put his own feelings first.

7:46 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

paul merton is a legend, a genius of enormous intelligence, you guys who can only just about spell the word garbage quite clearly havent sorted digital tv out, and still have the fuzzy channel 5 cos the whole series was fantastic!!!!

11:07 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I adored watching Paul in China. I thought he showed how its like to visit China as an ordinary person. It was not all plumped up to show the surface China he got into all the nooks and crannies....his robot visit had me laughing all next day everytime i thought of it and his comment "Wots cardboard viagara"? .............."Is it stiff cardboard?" Ha Ha!
Sad its ended i thought the last bit was just pushed in and could of made a another programme out of it. Paul you made a very pleasant hours entertainment thxs Jan xx

9:31 am  

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