Clive Myrie has set the record straight over why his Italy travel series will be different from Stanley Tucci’s Searching For Italy.
Comparisons to the Devil Wears Prada actor’s CNN programme, which was axed by the broadcaster, were made on social media when the BBC broadcaster’s Italian Road Trip was announced.
One cheeky Twitter user joked the Citadel actor, 62, will ‘want a word’ about the show, with Clive, in good spirits, replying: ‘Oops! Is he hacked off? Tell him I’m out of town…in Italy!’
But the journalist, 58, has once and for all cleared up the comparisons to Stanley’s beloved series – joking that the similarities end with their dapper appearances and bald heads to Metro.co.uk and other press.
‘Of course, there were going to be links made because we’re running around the same country, we’ve both got shortages of hair and we both dress very well,’ he joked.
‘But his [show] is mainly about food, and quite rightly as he does it absolutely brilliantly, and I was keen to play with my strengths.’
Clive explained he hoped his ‘strengths’ were going to places that are off the beaten tracking and playing into his reporting background.
‘It’s more of a travelogue, informational effort,’ he continued. ‘It’s not just me on a pedalo in the middle of Lake Como because that wouldn’t be interesting to anyone.
‘I hope there’s a little more journalism – and I don’t want journalism to define it – but a little bit more content that allows for more context of where we are.’
The broadcaster, however, said that while he touches on the migrant situation in Sicily and Rome’s ‘political shenanigans’ he was keen for the show to be ‘balanced.’
Clive added: ‘This is BBC Two, it’s 6. 30pm in the evening, and it’s at the start of summer so we don’t want to bring people too much of a downer with heavy political stuff.
‘But there’s a little bit of that in there because I think that adds credibility to me being part of the project as well.
‘I mean, all of a sudden I’m dancing and singing guy. Fine. But there is still that side to me that the public knows and understands I hope that they might actually pick up a few things and learn a couple of things.’
Clive Myrie’s Italian Road Trip starts on Monday on BBC Two at 6.30pm.
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