GET HOOKED: Anglers face Bush Tucker trials every day

YOU would have to be a very long-standing bivvy dweller not to know that some minor celebrities have gathered in an Australian jungle right now, enduring irksome creatures – notably, two Geordies – in the name of career longevity.

Now I’ll come clean. I’ve watched the programme, when the other channels have offered little alternative or the remote has been out of my grasp. I’ve even enjoyed it, especially when some displaced MP has been forced to eat the most precious parts of some unfortunate Aussie mammal. Who wouldn’t?

As you doubtless know, the central appeal of the show (aside from the compulsory shot of the pretty-one-you’ve-never-heard-of showering beneath a waterfall) is the Bush Tucker Trial. Viewers vote in their thousands (though I’ve never met anyone who has admitted to it) to decide who has to crawl through a rat-infested tunnel, or eat the aforementioned unmentionables.

The culinary tasks are excruciating, but it seems to be the creepy crawlies that worry the famous types. And, from their protestations, it is clear that none of them are anglers. Such encounters are quite normal to us.

Anyone fishing out on a damp night will have experienced slug attacks. They don’t move quickly, but have an alarming ability to invade the bivvy and find their way into boots, food bags and sleeping bags unnoticed. I’m not keen.

Sundry rodent visitations are also commonplace.

The first hours of darkness are particularly bad, but on waters where the rats have grown big on anglers’ titbits, they can be bold in daylight, too. They’ll approach with the swagger of a hardened Bronx gangster and dare you to respond. I’m not keen on them, either.

If these aren’t enough, spiders, bugs, disease-carrying ticks and other flying nuisances offer a constant reminder that we are on their territory, and the day ticket or club card in your pocket has no currency in their world. Scottish midgies are the worst. Once met, forever loathed.

And so I have little sympathy for this year’s crop of soap has-beens, one-hit wonders and other panto fodder. But I’ll keep watching – at least until a mild westerly blows in and tells me to put down the remote and head for the river.

And when it happens, I’ll be the one staring into the distance, muttering those immortal words. I’m a fisherman . . . get me out of here.

Catch reports:

Twitter: @jonberrywriter



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