Trish Burgess views TV treats while travelling abroad
When you're on holiday abroad, do you find yourself watching the local TV channels, even if you don't understand what's going on?
In Finland they show Who Wants to be a Millionaire? in the same format as at home. Even the presenter looks a bit like Chris Tarrant. I'm presuming he's not going to be given the heave-ho now that Jeremy Clarkson has taken over back in the UK.
They broadcast the quiz every morning, so we watched it as we getting into our skiing togs. We had a decent stab at the answers, performing well when we recognised a place or person's name. Otherwise it was guesswork, as there are no real clues when you try to decipher the Finnish language.
Things were a lot easier when their version of The Voice appeared. Some of the singing was a bit rough but the same red chairs were turning round. Manufacturers of these swivel seats must punch the air each time the franchise is rolled out in another country.
Memories of our holidays are weirdly linked to the programmes we discovered whilst channel-surfing. I don't think we will ever forget the Austrian Schlager party we watched open-mouthed as Europop and 70s style kitsch invaded our apartment.
One chap sang 'You Raise Me Up' accompanied by a bloke making bubbles with his hands, plunging them dramatically into a washing up bowl before the chorus. A solemn-looking choir murdered 'Yes, We Have No Bananas' in four-part harmony.
We tried horse-riding in Iceland and after a particularly bone-shaking canter on a rainy afternoon, we headed back to our hotel room to dry out. As Dougie staggered in, sore and exhausted, I remember saying, "Ooh Golden Balls is on the telly!" His reply was rather terse.
In 2012, when the opening ceremony of the Olympics from London was broadcast across the globe, Dougie, Rory and I were snuggled up in our hotel room in Sweden, trying to get the gist of Danny Boyle's creative production. Occasionally the Swedish voiceover would give us some clues. “Shakespeare…Mr Bean….Ah, Sheffield! Arctic Monkeys! Judas Priest!” Though I'm pretty certain Judas Priest are from the West Midlands.
Everyone says the British are obsessed with the weather but, in our defence, we don't have a monopoly on this. During morning breakfast shows across the world, regular weather updates are just as frequent as our Carol Kirkwood segments. In Colorado, they were fanatical about the snow, sharing photos of viewers' back gardens just like we do.
My favourite weather presenter, however, has to be the chap we watched last month in Finland. Making me feel nostalgic for John Noakes and Shep, the jumper-wearing meteorologist was accompanied by the studio dog. This little pooch wandered across the set during the morning but made a bee-line for the weather man, standing happily at his feet during the broadcast.
The UK probably started the idea of having pets in the studio with Blue Peter. Maybe it's time we brought that tradition back home?
You can read Trish's blog at www.mumsgoneto.co.uk