Radio phone-in host Gary Bellamy is given his own TV series in which he travels the length and breadth of the land to meet the British people
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Real Behind The Scenes
In this first episode, Gary meets some of the regular callers to his award-winning radio show, like 28 stone Graham Downes, Jamaican entrepreneur Early D, reformed criminal Tony Beckton, and small minded builder Martin Hole. He also gets to meet the aristocratic Combe sisters who have divided their stately home along political lines, and self-appointed Muslim community leader Mister Khan.
The characters are eclectic and this week include pub landlord Chris Nibbs, painter and decorator Martin Hole, Brigadier Mike Archer and Colonel Hugh Fenwick of the modern British Army, reformed ex-con Tony Beckton and Sixties rock impresario and film producer Ian Craig-Oldman. Bellamy also meets the borderline-obsessional members of his own Gary Bellamy fan club on his search to uncover the real Britain.
Gary Bellamy tries to pin down what it means to be British. He talks to historian Michael Dadd about why Britain is called 'Great'. He interviews radio phone-in host Steve Goodall who regularly broadcasts his opinion that the ordinary people of Britain like himself have no voice. He visits a multicultural market to talk to stall holder Linda Darling about Britain's cultural diversity, and argues with Australian bar owner Nicky Ambrose over his claims that England is a weak nation.
Gary goes out on the town with party girl Tulsa Kensgrove and friends in Watford; reflects on the changing face of crime with reformed ex-con Tony Beckton; downs drinks with impresario Ian Craig Oldman, recounting yet another tale involving Cubby Broccoli's hat; and visits parish worker Sam Maitland. He also witnesses Martin Hole come to physical blows after a heated exchange with a parking attendant.
Bellamy elicits opinions about crime from a variety of Brits, including Brigadier Mike Archer and Colonel Hugh Fenwick of the modern British Army; spiritual guru Gerhardt Voller; right-wing Coventry radio host Steve Goodall; and reformed ex-con Tony Beckton, as he attends a reading of his book. Bellamy also continues his ongoing dialogue with plasterer Martin Hole, turning the tables on him with his: "I done you" catchphrase.
Gary finds abundant faiths at the Festival of Soul, Spirit And Mind, from the Church of the Absent Lord to a church for animals, plus the ubiquitous Bellamy's Babes, who show the devotion of true zealots. He continues his one-sided discussion with the strangely mute pupils of Newcastle's Bernard-Atwell School; and meets aggressive Australian bar owner Nicky Ambrose.
Gary visits Carmarthen, South Wales, and meets a religious cult called "The Garden" and its charismatic leader, Ian Knowles. Martin Hole continues his wide-ranging discourse - this week on spirituality - and once again declares he's "done" Gary right up. Bellamy also meets Berkshire Shaman Jason Laughingwater; parish worker Sam Maitland; Bryn Tablock of the Rhondda Valley; Reverend Samson Archibald, who is on a mission to save the people of Willesden; and morbidly obese Graham Downes - who offers his views on religious garmentry from his bedroom in Essex.
As Gary revisits many of the people who have guided him on his tour around Bellamy's Britain, he sums up what he has learnt. Gary also learns more about the 'Garden' cult, and his new-found druid friends invite him to their fireside for an initiation ceremony involving mushroom tea and loud music. To round off the series Geoffrey Allerton reads a moving poem about England.