James and Oz Drink To Britain / Three Men In More Than One Boat


I never thought I’d see the day. I found myself actively looking forward to seeing an essentially plotless vehicle for a car critic and a forgotten wine expert in which they get pissed on license-fee expenses. Weird, eh? Oz and James Drink To Britain is an undeniably fun programme, raises more than a chuckle and is well worth the half hour spent on it.

A solid drinking partner is hard to find. Spouses usually don’t work as they either can’t keep up, race off ahead of you or, even worse, are completely normal until the emotional extrovertism booze instills takes hold, at which point one of you goes completely wappy, threatening break up or marriage.

Usually, even a mate is too close to be a solid, all-day drinking partner, as
there are too many lines that can be crossed when intoxicated on the sweet, sweet boozy drinks. You might lightly mock their parentage for example, have a dig at an ex they’re still friendly with, or laugh at their dog. This can cause a gigantic upset and flung fists. I know this for a fact – I have experienced such fury.

No. A good drinking partner – one you can meet in the boozer for a midday kick off with a clutch of weekend papers under your arm, then continue to imbibe pint after pint for the next twelve hours with – is ideally someone you didn’t grow up with, can rip the piss out of without fear of repercussion and who has a similar disregard for their own safety as you do for yours.

That’s why Clarke and May make such a good quality, odd-couple style partnership and why the show is successful. It’s also why Three Men In More Than One Boat is borderline unwatchable.

In the latter, all involved are clearly somewhat in awe of one anothers’ talents, and the result is overtly fabricated. Besides – would you want to hang out with any of that lot? Dara O’Briaian is the most annoying thing to come out of Ireland since Bono, and Rory McGrath has always been the sort of bloke who makes you change channels in a hurry. Rhys Jones is alright, but not in that company.

With the Oz and James show, though most scenes are clearly a construct, they at least bicker convincingly. And they’ve got a central conceit that actually works. There’s a vague educational element to the show, on top of all the scenes of drunken, middle-aged arseholes sniping. It’s enough to make a man consider watching Top Gear.

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74 Responses to “James and Oz Drink To Britain / Three Men In More Than One Boat”

  1. extremelisteningmode Says:

    Good drinking mates are the blokes you know through the football. When I go to the pub on mtachday, there are dozens of blokes I know well enough to go on a sesh with but not enough to lambast them unsuspectingly.

    Gotta ask SH, what has Dara O’Brian done to annoy you so much?!

  2. Swineshead Says:

    It’s the way he goes ‘aaaah’ after everything he says. Just that.

  3. Napoleon Says:

    It’s not enough to make me start watching Top Gear, as I already watch Top Gear. Speaking of which, their Vietnam special this Christmas was excellent.

  4. extremelisteningmode Says:

    I’ll grant you that that is quite professionally Oirish.

    I too like Top gear, which is odd as I don’t drive, have no interest in cars and don’t like wilfully boorish curly-haired tools. And that richard Hammond one creeps me out.

    Yet somehow it works.

  5. Napoleon Says:

    I don’t mind Dara O’Braian either. Not on that Mock The Week, though – that show’s SHIT, mainly because of that Frankie Boyle creature.

  6. Swineshead Says:

    I liked the Vietnam special. Parts of it were hilarious. I have reappraised Top Gear in my mind.

  7. Nick T Says:

    Can’t get over the twat that is Clarkson.
    Not that keen on “blokey” shows.
    I saw the last 3MIAB but only as I was reading the book at the time.
    Far too grumpy to be at work today, I may kick a student……

  8. Napoleon Says:

    I wanted their suits. It was a great bit of telly. Probably my favourite thing on the box this Christmas.

  9. extremelisteningmode Says:

    Nick, kick a student anyway. What harm can it do?

  10. Nick T Says:

    There’s over 4000 of the little sweethearts, they wouldn’t miss one.

  11. Edna Welthorpe Says:

    Hate to use the N-word, but genuinely nice people like May and Clarke are televisual rarieties. It helps that they aren’t showbiz types but proper journos and everything.

  12. Swineshead Says:

    May is the only one of the Top Gearers you could imagine going for an enjoyable drink with. Hammond, I reckon, is actually a grumpy bastard. And Clarkson is Clarkson.

  13. Swineshead Says:

    By the way Nappers, your rant about Agynes Deyne and London Fashion Week (her real names Alison Holland or something equally dull) has inspired me to write a ditty. It’ll be ready soon.

    I got to 9 mins 54 seconds before vomiting copiously.

  14. Napoleon Says:

    9 minutes and 54 seconds, eh? Not bad. As I was saying to Clair, it’s the people on that there documentary (along with those honking money-grabbers in the City) that give you London folk a bad name. As a resident of that part of the capital, you’d do yourself, your fellow Londoners and the rest of us out here in the sticks a big favour by going on a killing spree. I believe the courts would accept that awful radio programme as mitigating circumstances.

    ‘Agynes Deyne’ … for fuck’s sake.

  15. Napoleon Says:

    I”d go for a drink with Clarkson, no problem. Mind you, I’d happily drink with Hitler if the fucker picked up the tab.

  16. mostlylouche Says:

    This seems to be a new style of program where men just do things in a low-key sort of way. I can’t say that I find them deeply entertaining and yet I’ve been watching all of them.

    A question for the non biker posters. Did the Top Gear Christmas special make you want to try riding a motorbike?

  17. Napoleon Says:

    Louche – Nope. I prefer my organs to remain on the inside of my body, thanks.

    Can I have your liver?

  18. piqued Says:

    I too enjoyed the Vietnam Top Gear, fucking good telly, so much so I did a swear word just now

  19. b'ree Says:

    james may is my neighbour (in a lives in the next street kind of way). i sat next to him for 30mins at our gp, whom we share, and i tried to guess what was wrong with him. my gp is a bit posh and has a good selection of magazines from ‘country living’ to ‘james may’s favourite motorbikes’ and he was having a flick through the latter.

    i saw the gp immediately after him which means my gp touched me immediately after she touched him which means that James May touched me, the perve.

    i liked it.

  20. Nick T Says:

    A lot of shows about Jews at the moment.

  21. Napoleon Says:

    Nick – Nazi bastard.

    Bree – I reckon he was probably suffering from a bout of anal bleeding.

  22. b'ree Says:

    yes, i hope so. failing that some kind of suppurative skin disease would be good. proof, you know, that he touched me.

    i also have the good (? cursed) luck to live on the same street as ‘Pop Producer’ Nikki (two k’s? twat….) Chapman what was on the tellybox years ago doing Pop Idol, x-factor’s under-age step-parent, and whose current man-friend is a bearded yet totally chinless wonder who can’t park his car without chipping some part of my council-tax-paid for kerb, and Nigel Havers who is as dessicated as a twenty-year old coconut on a netto shelf. but less hairy.


  23. The Spaghetti Says:

    Clarkson spouts any right-wing nonsense that comes in to his head, thinking it’s funny. Sometimes it is. But not often. Hammond desperately wants to be Clarkson when he grows up. Unfortunately, he’s grown all he’s going to.

    May is a genuinely amusing bloke, which makes up for the other 2. And I’d have walloped them both long before now if they kept clouting my cars like they always do.

  24. Napoleon Says:

    Spaghetti – Right-wing nonsense? Here we go! The bloody liberals are on the march again, I see. Why don’t you go back to Russia, you Guardian-readin’, lilly-livered, ‘elf ‘n’ safety NAZI. Your mob of simpering, loony-leftie, vegetarian busy-bodies are the reason this country’s no bloody fun anymore. You’d have us all in gulags if you could, comrade.

    You’ll be banning Christmas next.

  25. The Spaghetti Says:

    I didn’t say I wasn’t right wing, or that I disapprove of nonsense*.

    *see previous posts for evidence of nonsense-approval

  26. The Spaghetti Says:

    p.s. too right about banning Xmas, have you seen my effing bank balance???

  27. Nick T Says:

    They (Diary of Ann Frank, that film about concentration camps, Jews etc) all coincide with the attack on Gazza.

    I think they mentioned this on Hollyoaks……

  28. Napoleon Says:

    Spaghetti – Bring back Thatcher, that’s what I say! She’d sort this bloody mess Gordon Brown and his cronies have got us into quick-smart! And she’d make damn sure your sort were booted out of this country and forced to live in North Korea – where you belong!

    Yes! That’s exactly the sort of shithole, left-wing ‘utopia’ you wooly-minded, left-leaning, socialist bastard do-gooders DESERVE to be living in – a place where you don’t know when the secret police are going to be knocking on y’damned door at four in the morning. THAT’S YOUR LEFT WING-RUN COUNTRY FOR YOU. With your interfering political correctness and your bloody nut roasts.


  29. Swineshead Says:

    It didn’t make me want to ride a motorbike in the slightest. Sorry.

    Nappers, your Hitler comment put the indelible image of you dining with the moustachioed dictator in my mind. What’d you order?

  30. The Spaghetti Says:

    Don’t forget Hitler was a veggie. Order the steak tartare at your peril.

  31. Napoleon Says:

    Nick – It’s probably an anniversary or something.

    *recalls WWII ended in 1945*

    Oh, no it isn’t.

  32. b'ree Says:

    surely the only safe food to eat in front of herr hitler was bacon.

  33. Napoleon Says:

    Spaghetti – I’m not scared of Adolf Hitler. He was only about five foot four in his brown boots! I’d order a rare sirloin steak and chips. And if he didn’t like it, he could just bloody-well fuck off back to Germany where he belongs.

  34. Nick T Says:

    Sorry spag but he wasn’t http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category_talk:Vegetarians

  35. The Spaghetti Says:

    That’s not what he told me. I don’t hold with this Wikipedia nonsense anyway. If I want a book written by the people, for the people, I’ll read the telephone directory.

  36. Napoleon Says:

    Hitler was a vegetarian, Nick. The spineless little corporal couldn’t face meat because he was peculiar.

  37. ugeine Says:

    No, he wasn’t. Though he did launch one of the first anti smoking campaigns.

    Good review SH. Like you, I watched Dom Jolly’s drinking thing thinking it was probably going to be pointless but in the end it was pretty watchable.

    As for Top Gear, Clarkson is an arse, and the whole boys own feel to it grates on me. I don’t mind the specials but they’re usually narrated by that twat:

    ‘We were… … … … … … in a car… … … … … … … … … … near some fat… ………………………… Americans.’

  38. Napoleon Says:

    Ugeine – Yes he was. Instead of gaining your ‘information’ from user-generated flaff written by conspiracy theory nuts on the internet, why not try trawling through the hundreds upon thousands of books, archive documents and statements from the man himself regarding his aversion to meat.

    And you’re clearly a woman if you don’t like Top Gear. Did you enjoy the Sex & The City movie? Bet you did.

  39. ugeine Says:

    I’m only basing it on an episode of QI, I should point out. I think you’ll find wikipedia supports that theory, but as I spend some of my spare time vandalising it anyway I don’t really trust it.

    And I like manly things like candlelight dinners, bubble baths and Rod Stewart.

  40. Napoleon Says:

    I suppose QI peddled the usual contaminated soup theory, did it? Dismissed by most scholars of the nasty little shit, but hey, who are they to argue against the underpaid BBC research team of a light-entertainment panel show? Wikipedia’s got a lot to answer for.

    I bet you like that fucking ABBA film too.

  41. Nick T Says:

    He wasn’t a vegetarian, far too angry.
    You don’t get that upset eating tofu and salad.
    I know.

  42. ugeine Says:

    I just assumed that scholars got all their information from panel shows anyway. Actually, knowing QI, it’s probably some benign reason such as ‘he wasn’t actually a vegetarian as the vegetarian society defines a vegetable as any fruit grown for four days in the month of June, facing Manchester.’

  43. The Spaghetti Says:

    Hitler didn’t drink either. No meat, booze or fags. Not much fun to be had at Berchtesgaden. Think I’ll stick with Pontins.

  44. Napoleon Says:

    I think we can all agree those were his three worst traits.

  45. ugeine Says:

    I can see why people didn’t like him much now.

  46. ugeine Says:

    At least he made the trains run on time! Though not according to QI or wikipedia.

  47. The Spaghetti Says:

    Wasn’t that Mussolini’s claim to fame? Well, that and being hung upside down from a lamp-post.

  48. ugeine Says:

    I always mix up my fascist dictators.

  49. Napoleon Says:

    Do figures such as Hitler, Mussolini or Stalin have a ‘claim to fame’? Surely they went a bit beyond that, didn’t they? I mean, Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards’s ‘claim to fame’ was that he was a really shit ski-jumper. Hitler had … well … a few more strings to his bow, shall we say?

  50. Swineshead Says:

    ‘Strings to his bow’ is one way of putting it….

  51. Swineshead Says:

    GTA4 is ruining my life

  52. Nick T Says:

    Jeremy Kyle, words fail me….

  53. Napoleon Says:

    I was shouting at GTA IV last night. I had to accompany Phil through a warehouse full of shitbags to get to some boats, and fucking Phil kept getting fucking killed. I imagine the bloke upstairs thought I was murdering my missus.

  54. Nick T Says:

    Middle Classes on Jeremy Kyle Shock!

  55. The Spaghetti Says:

    Were they misdirected from the “Ready Steady Cook” studio?

  56. Swineshead Says:

    Packie keeps dying one me, the shitbag. I shot him in the head by mistake, the dizzy bastard.

  57. Nick T Says:

    Middle class druggie. Not a jogging pant in sight, very odd.

    Ready, Steady Snort.

    Rickie Lake now……Go Ricky!

  58. Napoleon Says:

    Packie keeps dying on you? Which level’s that?

  59. Swineshead Says:

    Waste disposal plant – him and a couple of goons. It’s bloody frustrating, I tell ye.

  60. Napoleon Says:

    Oh, I remember that one. If memory serves, I did that one pissed and did it first time. Worth getting through it, mind, as there’s a fucking brilliant level soon after that one that’s like a certain film I’ll not spoil it for you by saying what it is. Fucking superb.

    I’m nearly at the end of GTA IV now, and the bugger’s getting more and more frustrating. The one I did with that fucking Phil character took me gawd knows how many attempts. And there’s a shitty one in a hospital to look forward to. And one where you’re chasing a fat bastard about. Bloody nightmare.

    My thumbs! My poor thumbs!

  61. extremelisteningmode Says:

    Guys, you are both right about Hitler.

    He WAS a vegetarian…but he also liked a sausage from time to time.

  62. ugeine Says:

    Only GTAIV Mission that took me more then one time to complete (With a skull full of your finest bathtub plant, I may add) was the racing ones. Lightweights.

  63. ugeine Says:

    C0Z 1 1Z 1337.

  64. Napoleon Says:

    Ugeine – And in what universe other than one inhabited by creatures such as Dave is that an achievement?

  65. The Redundant Girl Says:

    Surely, every red bloodied male should watch Top Gear, yah a weak wristed sally otherwise!?

  66. ugeine Says:

    Times have changed, Napoleon. I’m beating off potential sexual partners with a stick because of my PS3 trophy collection.

    *makes bachelor size pot noodle and wanks over buffy screensaver*

  67. Swineshead Says:

    The racing ones are piss easy!

    Ugeine – we have demonstrated that different people have different strengths today, if nothing else.

    RG – incorrect, that kind of attitude belongs in the seventies. I suppose you think we should send all immigrants back home, do you? Well that’s racist, that is.

    Right, kids?

  68. The Spaghetti Says:

    Presumably not everyone in the 70’s thought immigrants should go home? The immigrants, for example? Or is that politically naive?

  69. ugeine Says:

    Yeah, I’m crap at most computer games anyway. Console kids routinely mock me on PS3 online.

    We have learned something indeed SH: If me and you ever went to New York, we’d take over the criminal underworld in a year.

  70. The Satire! Says:

    Pedants corner,

    Mr. ‘Itler, as you Engerlish fellows call Adolph was 5’10” which was not a small man by todays standards let alone 1939. The myth that he was small may arise from the fact he was surrounded by Leibstadarte nearly.all the time, the minimum height requirement for which was 6’4″ which would dwarf most of us. Wor Neville was probably a lanky twat as well.
    He was not a strict vegetarian and did enjoy the odd sausage. (no remarks about Ernst Rohm please.) But he was a T totaler which ended MY romance with National Socialism.
    Mussolini was also about 5’10”.

  71. ugeine Says:

    I’m about 5’10. Might mean something.

  72. The Spaghetti Says:

    I’m over 6′ 4″. Probably a bit late to apply for a job though.

  73. ugeine Says:

    I don’t think you apply, the traditional method is the first one to burn down the Reichstag wins.

  74. Swineshead Says:

    I’m slightly over 5’10 so I’d happily give Adolf a good slap and tweak his moustache while looming half an inch over him.

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