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Jerome K Jerome Three Men in a Boat

9th January 2006

BBC2's version of Jerome K Jerome's comedy odyssey Three Men in a Boat, in which he was accompanied by two friends and a dog named Montmorency, was immortalised in the classic book, called for Griff Rhy Jones, Dara O'Briain, Rory McGrath and a mongrel called Loli to retrace Jerome's journey up the Thames in 1889.

The trio slipped into their river-faring roles: Jones, the put-upon worrier; McGrath, the foul-mouthed delinquent; and O'Briain, the resigned pragmatist.  Loli didn't want to get in the boat at all, which shows she had more sense than the rest of them.

Griff Rhys Jones seemed to do most of the rowing, the carping and the cooking.
And in the first part of their seven-day journey, the gang had great larks at Hampton Court, on Dave (Pink Floyd) Gilmour's houseboat and on Magna Carta Island.  In between, they wrestled with tents, burnt eggs, fiddled with camp fires and looked for excuses to sneak off to the pub.

Thankfully, the loveliness of the river spoke for itself - the stretch between Maidenhead and Marlow, which Jerome described in his book as the most beautiful, is still stunning and glorious archive film and photographs lent atmospheric historical background.

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