Surrey’s Premier Lifestyle Magazine

Where Was I?

The multi talented Griff Rhys Jones appears in July at G Live with his show Where Was I? essence caught up with Griff for his thoughts on the show and globetrotting.
Stacks Image 2793
Q Griff, it can’t be a bad job travelling the world on camera…
It really is the greatest gig. The only issue is Michael Palin; he took over the world, so when I say: “I want to go there”, producers reply: “Palin has already been.” So I thought of a new angle, which would allow us to go to places Palin had already been. The new buzzword became ‘Jeopardy’ and the game was ‘Scare the **** out of Griff’ and they have since thrown me off mountains!

Q You’re a comedian, writer, actor, presenter, TV production founder and now explorer. That’s a lot of strings to your bow!
So many strings it’s difficult to fire my bow! I’m not trying to impress though. Where Was I? is for anybody and everybody; it addresses the major things like youthful freedom and then suddenly finding yourself having kids and then they leave home. This show is all about forgetting your taxes and your daughter’s dog and going travelling – you can ask questions too.

Q Do you still race in regattas?
I do and I really enjoy it, but I’m no good at it. It’s a glam arena, but I own an old wooden boat – we can’t beat the billionaires.

Q You have been to many countries. What was your favourite and why?
I’m a fond Brit. Young people are too fast to jump on a plane. I would say don’t forget The Lakes, the Scottish Highlands and Somerset… There are so many beautiful places in Britain. That said, I long to go to Japan, but my favourite place is Finland: the south coast has 80,000 islands – extraordinary.
Stacks Image 5583
Stacks Image 5588
Profile: Griff Rhys Jones
He has wandered from The Torres Straight Islands to Mali, from Moscow to Dar es Salaam, ridden ‘the train of death’, jumped from a burning boat in the Galapagos, sat with tribal elders and been ordered off their island. He has unwillingly climbed up mountains and abseiled down waterfalls, gone window cleaning on New York skyscrapers without a safety rope and clambered through Manchester’s most demanding sewers.

But mostly Griff Rhys Jones has made great TV about his travels, including Greatest Cities, A Slow Train to Africa, In Search of the Black Rhino, Burma and The Forgotten Army, several series of Three Men In A Boat and programmes on mountains, rivers, lost routes and tribal art.

Where Was I? looks behind those ‘making of’ snippets for the real truth about TV travel. It’s the truth about making travel television, and the truth about wanderlust.
Q What is the funniest thing that has happened on your travels?
We had a crazy time in Morocco. It was the 1980s and my wife and myself had walked about 100 yards when a man who wanted to show us around stopped us. We said no and he started following us, swearing, when at the next 100 yards we met another man who wanted to be our guide. Again, we said no, so he joined the swearing group. Crazy Morocco!

Q What is the scariest thing that has ever happened during your travels?
Every Wednesday during rush hour in Paris they stop the traffic so people can inline skate around the monuments. We were filming, so I decided that I would try on the Friday. Let’s just say traffic didn’t stop and I wobbled along, hoping I lived!

Q The question everyone wants to know the answer to is what is the best way to pack a suitcase – fold or roll?
Everything of mine is in containers: socks, electricals... So it doesn’t answer your question, but come along to my show and I will tell you how to get an upgrade!

Q What is your message to anyone that hasn’t yet got tickets to your show?
Come along! We had a hoot the last time I was in Guildford. I promise it’s a funny show.
essence info
Griff Rhys Jones: Where Was I?
G Live, London Road, Guildford, Surrey GU1 2AA - Thursday 12 July, 7.30pm.
Tickets: £22.00
Telephone: 01483 369350 (Monday–Saturday, 10am–6pm)
Twitter: @G_RhysJones
Instagram: @griffrhysjones

“There’s something for everyone – even the armchair traveller!”
Griff Rhys Jones