Susan Calman’s Summer by the Sea

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Friday: Susan Calman’s Summer by the Sea (Channel 5, 8pm)

Celebrity travelogues aren’t exactly a rarity these days – it often feels as if everybody and their grandmothers are making them. And if someone hasn’t appeared in one yet, they’re sure to be offered a chance to explore some far-flung place in the near future.

Susan Calman has been fronting them for Channel 5 since 2019’s Secret Scotland. That’s only four years ago, but she feels like an old hand at it because she’s made so many variations on the theme in the years since, including Grand Day Out, Cruising with Susan Calman and now her own Summer by the Sea.

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It’s quite an astonishing turn of events for the former lawyer, particular when you consider the fact she has a fear of flying.

Susan CalmanSusan Calman
Susan Calman

“I can now get on a plane,” she revealed, rather proudly, last year after undergoing hypnotherapy, which she feels “really helped”.

The comedian says she was encouraged to try it after lockdown made her feel as if she had “missed out on the world”.

“You know when you actually cannot leave your house, you start saying, ‘I really wish I could leave my house. Well, the only thing that’s stopping you is your fear of flying.’

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“I still don’t enjoy it, but I know that the destination at the end will make it worthwhile. Which is why I always think if you’re going, see somewhere that’ll make you happy.”

She adds: “I love people and I love being inquisitive and I love the excitement of meeting new people. It is such a privilege to be able to do what we are doing just now. So we are trying to show people everything out there that is still there for them to discover.”

Susan is looking forward to more cruises in the future, but at the moment, she’s exploring the British coastline, which she finds just as exciting, particularly as each trip brings her face-to-face with a celebrity who has a link to wherever she’s visiting.

She claims she finds hanging out with famous folk “quite mind blowing,” especially if it’s someone she’s been watching on the box for years: “That’s always a big ‘pinch me’ moment, that I’m meeting these fabulous people and having a chat with them.”

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This week Susan meets interior designer Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen during a trip to Suffolk. He ventures outside when she rocks up at Southwold following a short but fabulous ferry ride to the picturesque village of Walberswick.

Unfortunately, her efforts to view the stunning coastline from the sea isn’t as successful as she’d hoped thanks to the inclement weather, but back on dry land, she visits a quirky pier attraction before playing quoits on the beach with Laurence. After that, they take a trip to Minsmere Nature Reserve, where he falls in love with an avocet.

Look out too for Susan’s trip to Thorpeness, which was once a luxury holiday village designed to be the turn-of-the-20th century’s answer to Center Parcs. By the end of the jaunt, it’s clear the area has stolen her heart – you can bet it won’t be long before she’s back, perhaps without the cameras this time.

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