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Brushing Up On - British Tunnels
E1 of 4
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This is probably the funniest ever TV documentary about tunnels. Danny Baker flips through old BBC footage of sewers, bomb shelters and the Chunnel, hunting for the curious and the ridiculous. He stops the tape, rewinds it, pops up against a cheesy green-screen background to point out something stupid.
The film research is tremendous, uncovering gem after gem of damp, bathetic old-school telly, from a terrifying potholing clip to a sizzlingly homoerotic film in a coal mine. But it’s Baker’s script, lovingly honed and paying doughty, hard-hatted 1970s presenters just the right amount of disrespect, that makes it sing.
Baker’s tried various things on TV and radio – who knew he’d be at his best fronting BBC4 archive docs? He must now present them all.
Danny Baker uses archive footage to explore tunnels, sharing fun and interesting facts about many of these subterranean realms, including the Channel Tunnel. The journalist and comedian also reveals how a man makes badger holes in his garden via sewers, and champions 1990s tunneller Swampy.
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