Saturday, February 06, 2010

Don't underestimate the Shetlander's capacity for taking the piss, Simon

I thoroughly enjoyed the first episode of Simon King's Shetland Diaries, despite the fakery and the wide-eyed southern wonderment at things we tend to take for granted here in The Great Bog.

First, let me say that it is fantastic to see what a professional filming team (and it was a team; there was a full crew there much of the time, apart from Simon and his wife) can do with Shetland's wildlife. I was stunned by the Orca and Bonxie/Tirrick chick attack footage, the otters were great and it was instructive to see the painstaking and dangerous preparations for filming the gannet nests.

The 'human' stuff was another matter. That 'cottage' they toured with a view to renting wasn't a rental house at all. It's the Nesbister camping 'bod', an Amenity Trust cheap and cheerful tourist crash pad backpackers can hire by the night. That was our very own, highly local Northmavine Up Helly Aa, not the main (much less fun) event in Lerwick that attracts worldwide interest. And alas, Simon didn't realise just how much the piss was being ripped out of him by making him dress up as Kate Humble. Oh, and please, that tern-with-the-broken-wing tearjerker: Give us a break! Force that man to watch Local Hero several times. "We have an injured rabbit in the car..." Yum yum...

I'll be interested to watch the next episodes to see if they reflect how much time the King family seemed to spend in Frankie's Chip Shop - good move, by the way; those are GREAT fish suppers - and also to see if the more urban (and urbane) aspects of Shetland life are reflected. The Kings' landlord is a pal of ours. He is also a lawyer and expert classical guitarist, not just a shearer of sheep.


laura said...

hear hear,as for that dramatic dash across the beach to fetch daughter....what about the back road ?

chools said...

Always great to see how the great washed deal with harsh rural life as they see it (go and buy a fridge and a washing machine!)

The nature filming is great but couldn't they have dropped the annoying human element on the digital cutting room floor?

Not sure if the next part will be watched here. I would need to build a screen around the laptop (watched on iPlayer) and try and find an air freshener to remove the thick blue air that the programme seemed to generate

From a damp, grey, cold Nairn

Garfield said...

I was in Frankie's Chip Shop when I was up in Shetland last week. Top Fish Suppers.

whiteritsoxter said...

Just a note from the squad that had Simon King with us at the Northmavine Up Helly Aa.In no way wre we taking the piss out of him personally in the squad.He was to his credit game to like us take the piss from himself and we found he understood the humor of the event totally and mixed with us and the people in the hall like a native Shetlander