The Wild Weekenders (Channel 4) is a pick’n’mix kind of show. Ostensibly it’s about how to make the most of a British “staycation”, which is handy, now that Brexit has put holidays abroad up there with sprinkling gold leaf on your cereal. But it also borrows parts from every lifestyle programme going, morphing into a sort of super-compendium of Channel 4’s best conduits for daydreaming. There’s some cookery, some adventuring, a smattering of property, if you count luxury tents as property, and even a bit of comedy, thanks to Adam Buxton being one of the three hosts. The other two, Clem Green and Arthur Williams, are amiable and enthusiastic, but they’re also not the ones yelling from the top of a tor, “I’m communing with the wind!” as they prepare to spend the night wild camping in a hurricane.
This episode is concerned with the best outdoorsy, eco-ish stuff to do in Devon, and it may inspire those who have left any bank holiday trip until the very last minute to head to the south coast. Buxton tries out camping, both high-end and roughing it. Williams, the gung-ho ex-marine, says he likes it “cold, hard and wet” (don’t worry, they haven’t worked that in as well), so he gets to do the hands-on action stuff. He goes freediving – “the best way to chill out”, his guide tells him, though I can think of better ways to relax than holding my breath in the sea for as long as possible – and wild swimming, while Green goes pony-wrangling, which is really a thing, then forages for her dinner.
It does a lot to combat the picture-postcard image of a British holiday as just “wet walks, arguing in caravans and wishing you’d gone to Spain,” as Buxton puts it at the start. For now, it’s a one-off, but there’s so much to explore throughout the country that they’d be foolish not to commission a full series.