The Greatest and Quietest TV Programme Ever Made

A Passion for Angling is indisputably the greatest television programme ever made, after Brideshead Revisited. A Passion for Angling is a series of six 50-minute films on fishing that was first broadcast in 1993. From the outset, the British public were totally entranced by its exposition on the technique and philosophy of fishing. Sales of waders and fly rods - although I haven't checked this - must have gone through the roof straight after the first episode was transmitted.

The greatest story ever told...about fishing
Even for non-anglers there is something magical in the production. It has a whispered, mug-of-cocoa-in-hand narration from Bernard Cribbins. The benign British landscape is a wonderfully lit backdrop to the fishing, which is seen as a meditation in the spirit of Izaak Walton's The Compleat Angler.
Genuinely something for everyone
Walton's book was first published in 1653 and continues to delight lovers of country pursuits. I remember visiting his humble little house in Shallowford, Staffordshire, which he bequeathed to the village.

A Passion for Angling is quiet and unhurried, and dressed in proper fishing attire. Twenty years later it retains all of its original charms — a certified British classic.

Tweedy's Thought: I don't know what year the volume was turned up, but everyone on TV nowadays seems to be shouting for attention or in a state of near hysteria. This is not a welcome development. By comparison, today's fishing programmes need to be about 'extreme' fishing and fronted by a celebrity. For shame.

A Passion for Angling begins with an episode called Childhood Dreams, where Bob James and Chris Yates demonstrate how to get into the right mind-set to enjoy fishing. Subsequent episodes tackle (pun intended) different fish and fishing techniques. A delightful series that you would gladly welcome into your home. As our old friends The Kings of Convenience might say, let quiet be the new loud.

There's a sample of the first episode below. You can buy the series on a double DVD set direct from here. I suggest you do.


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