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Australia with Simon Reeve

Australia with Simon Reeve

Sun May 19, 9-10pm, BBC2

By Gabriel Tate
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Series one, episode one
It’s not all cricket, casual racism and ‘Wolf Creek’, apparently: ‘If you think you know Australia, think again.’ Wise words from professional globetrotter Simon Reeve, who begins his three-part jaunt Down Under by travelling from the nation’s parched centre to its west coast. Along the way he rounds up some camels, dives with blue fin tuna, tastes some wine, prospects for gold and drives a big lorry.

But, for all Reeve’s infectious enjoyment, it feels unfocused and a little thin on revelation compared to such previous high-concept ventures as ‘Equator’ or ‘Places That Don’t Exist’. Which isn’t to say there aren’t incidental pleasures: the camel-wrangling is a spectacular sight, and Reeve’s frustration at the gradual ecological ruin of Australia through mechanised agriculture and careless industry is as palpable as his dismay at the continuing exploitation of Aboriginal peoples.
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