Rory and Paddy's Great British Adventure
|Rory and Paddy's Great British Adventure|
Title screen from Series 1
|Also known as||Rory and Paddy's Even Greater British Adventure|
|Directed by||Marc Heffernan
|Presented by||Rory McGrath
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||2|
|No. of episodes||10|
|Production company(s)||IWC Media|
|Original run||13 August 2008 – 10 October 2010|
Rory and Paddy's Great British Adventure was a television documentary series presented by comedians Rory McGrath and Paddy McGuinness. The series was broadcast on Five between 13 August and 3 September 2008. The series followed McGrath and McGuinness travelling around Great Britain, taking part in, "strange but quintessentially British sporting events". Examples of sports that appeared in the series include cheese rolling, pie eating, bog snorkelling, Eton Fives and Egg Throwing. A second series, Rory and Paddy's Even Greater British Adventure, began on 20 September 2010 and ended on 18 October 2010.
Rory and Paddy's Great British Adventure saw McGrath and McGuinness competing against both the public and themselves in unusual sports around Britain. For the first series, the contest was split into four parts: Middle England; Scotland and Northern England; Wales and the Shires; and Southern England. In each edition, McGrath and McGuinness go head-to-head at different sports, and also take part in a separate sport each. The results were recorded in their "Black book", with McGrath and McGuinness fighting each other to see who is best.
In the second series, the contest was split into six parts, with results recording their "Red book". The separate sports were removed from the show, so now each contest is a head-to-head between McGrath and McGuinness.
The series received mixed reviews. The programme was originally broadcast during the 2008 Summer Olympics, which resulted in some media outlets saying that Britain should play in sports depicted in the show, rather than actual Olympic events. Andrew Tong wrote in The Independent on Sunday that; "we mustn't play them at their own game. Rather we should regale them with all the sports we invented but which the IOC won't allow in the Olympics. Not cricket and rugby, but games at which we're the best in the world, such as toe wrestling, mountain bike bog snorkelling, egg throwing and, of course, worm charming."
Noam Friedlander in Metro gave the programme four stars out of five, saying: "The pair packed a lot into the hour but a swifter romp through Middle England would have been more welcome. At least the eccentricities that make Britain 'great' got their minutes of fame. It makes a change to give these genuine characters airtime rather than the caterwauling wannabes we'll be seeing on this weekend's The X Factor auditions."
However, James Walton in the Daily Telegraph was more critical of Rory and Paddy's Great British Adventure saying, "that a sense of almost existential pointlessness had soon settled over the entire programme – a sense not banished by perhaps the least alluring pre-advert announcement in TV history. "Coming up," said Paddy, "Rory's a no-hoper at tiddlywinks.""
Series 1: Rory and Paddy's Great British Adventure
|1 - Middle England||13 August 2008||
|2 - Scotland and Northern England||20 August 2008||
|3 - Wales and the Shires||27 August 2008||
|4 - Southern England||3 September 2008||
Series 2: Rory and Paddy's Even Greater British Adventure
|1 - Scotland||20 September 2010||
|2 - Wales||27 September 2010||
|3 - The North||4 October 2010||
|4 - The South||11 October 2010||
|5 - The Shires||18 October 2010||
|6 - The South West||25 October 2010|
- While the race technically ended in a draw; due to Rory failing to finish and Paddy opting out of the thirty-foot jump near the end of the course, Rory decided to give Paddy his "half-point" at the end of the episode, effectively giving Paddy a 5-0 win for the Scottish leg of the series.
- Despite Paddy only hitting a cameraman, the duo agreed to settle for obtaining a point each, because Paddy didn't believe that southerner Rory had gone to Bolton.
- While Rory was on the winning punt, Rory employed the vastly superior expertise of the woman who trained him - Caroline - and had her pilot the punt in his stead, resulting in an easy victory, despite Paddy trying to even the odds by pulling his punt along the river by grabbing the bank.
- "Dark forces were at work!" - Paddy McGuinness, commenting on the so-called dubious ways (see also: excuses) in which Rory was declared victorious; befriending the farrier before the competition, having his tree climbing ropes arranged into a pulley to aid his ascent, Paddy's lawnmower being rendered out of action half a lap before victory with a broken chain, etc.
- "Rory and Paddy's Great British Adventure". Demand Five. 2008-09-03. Retrieved 2008-09-04.
- Shennan, Paddy (2008-08-16). "That's proper sport!". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 2008-09-04.
- Tong, Andrew (2008-08-31). "Andrew Tong: Chinese are no match for Russian Roulegg". The Independent on Sunday. Retrieved 2008-09-04.
- Friedlander, Noam (2008-08-13). "Eccentric England with Rory and Paddy". Metro. Retrieved 2008-09-04.
- Walton, James (2008-08-14). "Last night on television: Who Do You Think You Are? (BBC1) - Rory & Paddy’s Great British Adventure (Five)". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-09-04.