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New BBC show for Oz Clarke

Published:  23 July, 2008

Oz Clarke is teaming up with Top Gear's James May for a new BBC wine programme to be aired this autumn - Oz & James's Big Wine Adventure.

The apparent aim of the six-part series is for Clarke to educate unrepentant beer drinker May on the finer points of wine appreciation during a trip around France in a vintage car. The wine regions they will visit are Bordeaux, Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence, the Rhne Valley, Burgundy, Chablis, Sancerre, Alsace and Champagne.

Elaine Bedell, commissioning editor features & factual entertainment, commented: 'I've been looking for a wine programme for a while. We all consume gallons of the stuff without knowing much about what we're drinking - apart from feeling that if we pay 9 a bottle it must be OK. The idea came about to send James and Oz on a journey through the vineyards of France together in a way that will educate us all about wine.'

On the BBC website, Clarke is quoted as saying: 'Six weeks travelling through France with James is sure to be an experience. I'm told James knows next to nothing about wine and I'm guessing he's the kind of fellow that prefers warm ale with twigs floating in it. I hope to change this and educate him in the ways of wine. I will relish the challenge!'

In typical Top Gear blokey banter fashion May responds: 'I like a glass of wine as much as the next bloke, but the trouble with Oz Clarke is that he spends far too much time talking about what sort of soil the grapes grew in and not enough time drinking the stuff. A man could die of thirst.'

A BBC Book - Oz and James's Big Wine Adventure, published on 5 October (16.99) - accompanies the series.