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The BBC discovers Germany

So Auntie Beeb seems to have suddenly woken up to the existence of Europe’s most populous country. First comes this week’s episode of The Apprentice, where candidates try to sell crisps to the Germans. Frankly, it’s the Germans, not the apprentices, who come out well, given that the Brits bluster through in English, while the Germans have to cope with doing business in a foreign language, including taking the whole crisps/chips confusion conundrum in their stride.

Hard on SurAllan’s heels comes the Beeb’s German season on BBC Four. Highlights are Al Murray, the pub landlord, who comes out of the closet as a German-o-phile, and shows that he speaks remarkably good Deutsch on his exploration of Germany’s culture, while carefully avoiding any mention of any war. The latter must have been a temptation, for behind his boorish comedic persona, he is in fact an Oxford-educated history graduate.

Meanwhile Andrew Graham-Dixon goes into (three-part) detail in his investigation of German art, while historian Christopher Clark does a similar job on Prussian King Frederick the Great.

Finally the bouncy Miss Bradbury has the best job of all (in my opinion), heading off for a four-part scenic stomp along the Rhine, up the Bavarian Alps, through Saxony, and around the island of Rügen on the Baltic coast. Phew.

Programming starts from the end of November.

We, of course, are ahead of the game, already having sections on the Prussians, the Rhine, the Baltic (including Rügen) Saxony’s Switzerland and walking in the Bavarian Alps.  We’ll see if we can coax Al Murray on here, too.

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