Ade Edmondson goes back to The Dales

The former Young One talks about the possibility of a new series of Bottom, never travelling without gout pills and mountain trekking in Peru

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Ade Edmondson’s move to travel TV is a far cry from playing Eddie – the crude, perverted lunatic – in Bottom. It’s also a million miles from his part as orange-haired punk student Vyvyan Basterd in the Young Ones, but somehow the nation has been warmed, captivated and turned on to his green, hilly Yorkshire love sessions. As the Dales returns for a third series (9pm, May 13), we catch up with Ade for more on what to expect during the next 12 episodes…

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We hear you’re in Australia, what are you doing over there? More travel TV?

I’m touring with my band The Bad Shepherds, and getting a good look at the country as I go. The trouble touring Aus is that the towns are so far apart.

We’re excited about the next series of The Dales, why do you keep going back to Yorkshire for more?

The Dales are incredible. It’s such a massive wilderness cradled between some enormous urban areas. It’s easy to miss it as you scoot up the M6 or the A1, but it’s well worth a detour. It’s shockingly picturesque. The light is amazing – you can stand still on any hill top and just watch the scenery change through the interplay of wind and weather.

What should we expect from the new series?

The new series is the same in format as the first two. I visit some regulars like the Owen family – who have obligingly provided us with a new baby each series. A lot of the new stories are agricultural – I think what makes the Dales special is the fact that it is still largely an agricultural community, and I wanted to reflect that, so I went to the auction mart at Hawes (where 25,000 sheep are sold in one day), followed a few young farmers and got stuck in at the local shows. Being a fairly isolated community I also followed one of the Owen children on her first day at secondary school (a four-hour round trip), and looked at what people got up to in their spare time – The Grassington Players were doing ‘Calendar Girls’ in the village where the calendar was originally produced, with some of the original contributors in the audience.


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When you’re not touring Yorkshire, where do you like to travel?

I think most of Britain is unexplored by most people. We’ve got a lot going on right on our own doorstep. Touring with my band, and making shows like Ade In Britain, I see a lot of really beautiful spots. However, we all like a change don’t we? I think one of my favourite jaunts was with the family doing a mountain trek in Peru. We went with a convoy of donkeys carrying all the gear and trekked high up into the peaks passing glaciers, and tiny villages where the locals were still herding alpacas and llamas in the same way they have for centuries. We even saw condors.

What do you like doing more – comedy or travel shows?

I like doing whatever I’m doing at the moment. I don’t think you have to choose. I’ve done more documentaries of late, but it doesn’t mean I don’t like comedy.


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When travelling, what do you never leave home without?

I always take tea bags and gout pills. The two are not linked, but they’re both very necessary.

Would you ever do another series of Bottom or The Young Ones? 

We looked at reviving Bottom last year, and even got as far as writing a couple of episodes, but my heart wasn’t really in it so I called a stop to it. I think you should let your successes lie. No point warming them up – it would only be disappointing. Much better to do something completely new.

If you could visit anywhere, during any time or place, where would it be?

I’d be in LA during the 30s when Laurel and Hardy were making their talkies. I’m addicted to Laurel and Hardy; I still watch them regularly (on a weekly basis). I think Stan [Laurel], who wrote it all (despite what the credits say), was a proper comedy genius. I’d also love to see LA during that era – one of the great joys I get from watching their films is seeing LA in the backdrop.

You’ve become quite the travel journo of late, can we expect more shows of this ilk?

I’m just about to start making a series about Britain’s relationship with the sea. I’ll be going to several different ports to find out the maritime history of the place and see how that matches up with the present.

Watch The Dales season three at 9pm, May 13, on ITV


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 Visit Yorkshire with Radio Times Travel, see here for more info