The UK’s most popular wine personality, as measured not just in terms of his wine credentials, but also his reach through TV, must be Oz Clarke.
I have just discovered that his ‘Buddy TV’ format has been adapted further in a programme to be called “Oz And Hugh Raise The Bar” on BBC2. He has obviously moved on from Mr Top Gear (who is probably still playing with his toys in his own series) to match him with Hugh Dennis again (after their Christmas special last year).
Wine expert Oz Clarke and comedian Hugh Dennis will set up a bar serving only local UK produce …(and) will travel the UK and Ireland to discover the best British drinks and snacks and purchase them as stock for their respective bars.
I look forward to giving it a chance. I’m sure there are lots of interesting things out there, but I hope there isn’t too much just-for-television fake drama and silliness.
It is interesting to see that the two most prominent UK wine personalities are now Oz Clarke and Olly Smith, who made their name on TV with wine but are now moving away into more general ‘winetertainment’ (with Olly on Iron Chef UK, and I’m sure more things to come). Hopefully it means their appeal will grow and they can bring wine to new audiences and get a proper wine programme commissioned again.
(Note: the programme is to be made by RDF Media – who I hope will inject more energy promoting this than they do updating their own site as I can find no reference to it there)