Let’s carry on glamping with our Johnny Vegas
Wednesday; Johnny Vegas: Carry on Glamping; (C4, 10pm)
Cast your mind back to 2019, which seems a very long time ago.
Back then, none of us had any idea what the world had in store just a few months later; certainly Covid-19 wasn’t anything we’d heard about.
In the early part of the year, Channel 4 announced it was making Llas Vegas, a new series charting Johnny Vegas’ efforts to restore an old bus and turn it into a luxurious glamping destination.
If anybody heard about it at the time, chances are they’ve forgotten it since, but now, at long last, the programme is about to see the light of day, although in the intervening period it’s undergone a title change
“I bought a bus online,” says Vegas. “Not because it’s what showbiz folk do, but because my camping van got nicked and it had been my wee bit of creative space heaven.
“Since then, after a number of pub chats, misadventures, an art school virus to create beauty as and when you can, plus a deep desire to save these gorgeous machines from a scrap heap, I’m suddenly, finally trying to turn a ‘What if?’ into a ‘Well, why not?’
Johnny’s bus is coming all the way from Malta, which has its own problems.
For a start, he has to travel to the country to claim it – thank goodness filming began before lockdown. He’s helped along the way by his long-suffering assistant Bev; some viewers may recognise her from her appearances alongside the comedian on Celebrity Gogglebox.
Perhaps the decision to hold the series back will be in Channel 4’s favour.
During the brief period in which we have been allowed to stay away from home, glamping has risen in popularity – after all, it’s far easier and safer to remain in your own space than to venture into other people’s.
Johnny himself may benefit too, because although it’s true he’s bought a bus, that’s not the entire story. He’s planning on creating the ultimate glamping site, with the assistance of a gang of vintage bus enthusiasts. They will be seen lending the novice renovator a hand while also working their magic on four other vehicles.
“Borrowing cash, sorting out red tape and taking a risk on the fact that other folk will want to spend time in a place that feels special,” adds Johhny. “As no doubt the bank manager might say, I’m not the most organised person, but I tend to invest in passion.
“The idea was to set up shop in North Wales (hence the show’s original title of Llas Vegas), but after several sites fell through, it seemed as if the project might never get off the ground – until a farm in the stunning Yorkshire countryside offered some of its land.
“But, as we’re about to see, that wasn’t the only problem lying ahead – the team had an awful lot more potholes to traverse on a very bumpy road that also featured a devastating crash and, of course, an approaching global pandemic.”
Here’s hoping the wheels didn’t come off completely because, who knows, we may fancy a stay there ourselves in the near future.
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