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Channel 5 series involves actor and his presenter son cycling round national parks

Sometimes it’s hard to avoid the feeling that Channel 5 is hell-bent on skirting as closely as possible to Alan Partridge’s TV pitches with their output. It’s not quite Youth Hostelling with Chris Eubank, but Britain By Bike with Larry and George Lamb seems cut from the same cloth.

The title is not misleading. The programme involves Eastenders and Gavin and Stacey actor Larry Lamb cycling round Britain’s national parks with his son, the TV and radio presenter George Lamb.

It’s broadcast on Fridays at 8pm and there have been three episodes so far. If you’re interested and it had so far passed you by, have no fear, you can still watch it all via Channel 5’s on-demand service.

Larry told The Express: “When George was a boy, I had a little seat for him that was fixed to the crossbar of my bicycle. He would sit there with his little feet up in between my arms. Then, as he got older, he had a seat on the back and we’d literally cycle all over London.”

They’re on separate bikes now. Larry’s got an e-bike and George is on a road bike.

Speaking about the series, Larry said: “We travelled around four beautiful National Parks – Loch Lomond & the Trossachs, the Yorkshire Dales, the New Forest and Pembrokeshire. I had actually been to all of them before, but not so extensively, so it was lovely to see new areas and trails. We were away for about five days filming in each park, so we really got around.”

They seem to have enjoyed themselves. Larry describes cycling about with his son as “a gift of a job.”

Here at road.cc, we’ve only seen a few minutes of the first episode. A Guardian review was fairly ambivalent about it, but it seems like genial family fare.

It’s an hour-long programme, minus the ads, so it’s obviously not wholly about cycling. That first episode sees them train a sheepdog, make pork pies, go fly-fishing and experience an evening of ferret racing, while the cycling bit involves self-confessed beginner George riding up Buttertubs Pass.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

28 comments

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congokid [323 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

Great stuff. Makes me want to try my first cycling holiday, though I think I'd have to go on my own.

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Eton Rifle [33 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

I managed to stand about 10 minutes of one episode but it's pretty fucking awful. So twee, cheesy music and practically nothing about cycling. It's as if the bikes are just a way of filling screen time in between visits to various tourist attractions.

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mike the bike [970 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

 

She and me have watched two episodes, the scenery is great.

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HalfWheeler [660 posts] 1 month ago
14 likes

Watched bits and bobs of it - it's shit.

But as PR for cycling in general I'd say it's pretty good, anything that paints cycling in a postive way has to be encouraged.

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Yorkshie Whippet [620 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
Eton Rifle wrote:

I managed to stand about 10 minutes of one episode but it's pretty fucking awful. So twee, cheesy music and practically nothing about cycling. It's as if the bikes are just a way of filling screen time in between visits to various tourist attractions.

Sums the bits I’ve seen pretty much spot on.

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wellsprop [445 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
Yorkshie Whippet wrote:
Eton Rifle wrote:

I managed to stand about 10 minutes of one episode but it's pretty fucking awful. So twee, cheesy music and practically nothing about cycling. It's as if the bikes are just a way of filling screen time in between visits to various tourist attractions.

Sums the bits I’ve seen pretty much spot on.

Another +1 for this

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IanEdward [125 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Meh, watched the Loch Lomond one, wasn't terrible and showcased some slightly off the beaten track attractions.

Whoever is doing the onscreen maps of the areas they visit and the routes they take must have been drunk though, they showed the Trossachs in Lochaber, and either they cycled over a munro, or tunnelled through one...

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BehindTheBikesheds [866 posts] 1 month ago
13 likes
Eton Rifle wrote:

I managed to stand about 10 minutes of one episode but it's pretty fucking awful. So twee, cheesy music and practically nothing about cycling. It's as if the bikes are just a way of filling screen time in between visits to various tourist attractions.

it's not meant to be a cycling programme, it's about family doing stuff together, seeing things you wouldn't by another mode. Both of them in interview say that they get to see things they wouldn't if they'd gone by car as it all just flashes past. Sure the old man is using an e-bike but he's gone out with his son, they've enjoyed a bit of banter/bonding, taken in some scenery and they've done it on a bike so have got some exercise, what's not to like.

To serious cyclists of course it's a bit twee but this is meant to appeal to the general populous to get out and give it a go, it isn't aimed at your battle hardened commuter/touring/racing cyclist but it does promote the idea of togetherness in a time when families can often just run alongside each other.

would I watch it, no, do i think it helps promote cycling as a leisure activity, yes, is that a good thing, yes it is.

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Grahamd [723 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

File under insipid.

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kevvjj [277 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

I Like it and I've enjoyed what I've seen so far. Yes, it's not really a show about cycling, it's more a travelogue on using a bike to get to places. I loved the Trossachs and Loch Lomond episode. What I enjoy most though, is the clear love this father and son have for each other - it's beautiful to watch. We need more shows like this. It has certainly given me some ideas for my next cycling holiday.

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burtthebike [1191 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Not sure if this is an improvement on the media completely ignoring cycling whilst featuring walking ad infinitum.

Perhaps one day we'll have a proper programme on mainstream tv about cycling.  One day.  Not soon, obviously, but one day.

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handlebarcam [1054 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Some of George Lamb's career choices makes Mr. Partridge's ideas seem like sure-fire hits. I mean, who wouldn't pick simian racquet sports to watch over Young Butcher of the Year any day of the week? And, amazingly, hosting that particular TV programme wasn't even his worst ever error of judgement.

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RMurphy195 [117 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Not enough actual cycling content for me,I found myself skippig through so much of the program I've stopped watching/recording it I'm afraid.

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nbrus [548 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

The previous series with Claire Balding was much better with more cycling related content. The current series is ok in some bits but mostly boring. I'll still watch it though, but I won't be watching any repeats.

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WillRod [249 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

Well, it is t really that much about cycling. There are paid for adverts by Giant bicycles (basically they provided the bikes) but it’s fairly easy watching for anyone thinking of their own cycle tour.

Its more to inspire you to have your own family road trip than anything.

 

Anyway, it’s far better than watching angry people shouting at each their in Eastenders or Z list celebrities trying to beat each other to who has the lowest morals and standards.

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Cupov [50 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

is it as good as 'cycling with Philipa'? 

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hawkinspeter [1038 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

I've seen the first 2 episodes and I enjoyed them - the kind of thing to stick on when you don't want to concentrate on the screen (e.g. whilst cooking). It's more of a travel programme featuring parts of the UK than being about bikes, but then I think we need more of that in the UK. The rest of Europe doesn't obsess about bikes like we do; they just use them to get from A to B.

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Awavey [347 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

To serious cyclists of course it's a bit twee but this is meant to appeal to the general populous to get out and give it a go, it isn't aimed at your battle hardened commuter/touring/racing cyclist but it does promote the idea of togetherness in a time when families can often just run alongside each other.

would I watch it, no, do i think it helps promote cycling as a leisure activity, yes, is that a good thing, yes it is.

but i dont think it does promote cycling as a leisure activity or even a touring style activity, and I dont think thats its intention anyway so Im not criticising it for lacking that, the bikes are just the link between them getting from place to place and making pork pies, or climbing a cliff, or whatever setup thing they are going to next, there wasnt in Episode 1 at least unless I blinked and missed it, any sort of "isnt this cycling lark great", and it comes with usual tv tropes of cycling up steep hills is really hard if you arent super athletic, or have an e-bike.

Id hoped when I first saw it, it would be more like Micky Flanagan's Detour de France, which shows you can do a travelogue with bicycles and have it be about the bikes as well as the places and things you visit, but its not, its nots even a Portillo with bicycles

its harmless, and you never know some of Larry Lambs generation of fans may think hey ebikes are good, but Im not going to bother watching anymore.

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Leviathan [2840 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

There is a Channel 5 now? 

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Gus T [319 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
wellsprop wrote:
Yorkshie Whippet wrote:
Eton Rifle wrote:

I managed to stand about 10 minutes of one episode but it's pretty fucking awful. So twee, cheesy music and practically nothing about cycling. It's as if the bikes are just a way of filling screen time in between visits to various tourist attractions.

Sums the bits I’ve seen pretty much spot on.

Another +1 for this

And another +1, the cycling seems to be infill between other activities

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alansmurphy [1051 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes
nbrus wrote:

The previous series with Claire Balding was much better with more cycling related content.

You learn something new every day, I wasn't even aware Claire Balding was Larry Lamb's son...

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brooksby [2647 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
alansmurphy wrote:
nbrus wrote:

The previous series with Claire Balding was much better with more cycling related content.

You learn something new every day, I wasn't even aware Claire Balding was Larry Lamb's son...

Which means the third son must be *Dave* Lamb  who presents 'Come Dine With Me' and 'Horrible Histories Gory Games'...?

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arfa [855 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

It was only a few weeks ago that the bike channel went out of business. Bottom line, there isn't enough commercial interest in pure cycling TV aside from the main pro events. In the meantime, this hybrid tourism/cycling program is as good as you're going to get and if it makes riding a bike a little less of an out group, it's ok with me.

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Rapha Nadal [638 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

mike the bike wrote:

 

She and me have watched two episodes, the scenery is great.

Yeah, Loch Lomond looked beautiful!

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Eton Rifle [33 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
Cupov wrote:

is it as good as 'cycling with Philipa'? 

I can tell you that it's nowhere near as good as Youth Hostelling with Chris Eubank

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ConcordeCX [472 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
alansmurphy wrote:
nbrus wrote:

The previous series with Claire Balding was much better with more cycling related content.

You learn something new every day, I wasn't even aware Claire Balding was Larry Lamb's son...

you must be thinking of Sean Balding-Lamb

 

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Rapha Nadal [638 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Eton Rifle wrote:

Cupov wrote:

is it as good as 'cycling with Philipa'? 

I can tell you that it's nowhere near as good as Youth Hostelling with Chris Eubank

Nor "Monkey Tennis".

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kil0ran [557 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Looking forward to the New Forest one, including pitchfork-wielding ranting yokels and insane close passes from tipper lorries on narrow lanes  3