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The Human Swarm

Thu May 30, 9-10pm, C4

The Human Swarm
By Chris Waywell |
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Series one, episode one
‘As a farmer,’ says Jimmy Doherty every few minutes in this doc, as if to remind us (and maybe himself) of his telly provenance. For Jamie’s mate, Mr Agri-tottie, is on the farm no longer: in the twenty-first century equivalent of coming up to town to see the Great Exhibition, he has made a perilous move into popular science.

It’s not his fault that this vehicle is cumbersome and full of so-what moments, but his presence does highlight its shortcomings as anything more than common sense. When it’s cold, d’you see, we all want hot food and get certain kinds of sicknesses. Ah, but when ’tis hot, we want light, dainty foods, and get other kinds of sicknesses. Where the ‘swarm’ comes into this is anybody’s guess, but James Burke it most decidedly ain’t. (In case you’re interested in more rural matters, ‘Farming Today’ is still on Radio 4 every morning at 5.45am.)

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