http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00vwcws This programme is one of three in the BBC’s second World's Most Dangerous Roads series. For some reason –to capture a younger demographic?- the BBC has chosen comedians and day-time TV presenters to “take part” in what could have been a most interesting and exciting adventure travel TV programme. Sadly imho it is an opportunity lost and, rather than the Blashford-Snell or Ran Fiennes approach you get Jimmy Tarbuck’s daughter, Lisa, and some other comedic gal in a four-by-four driving from Vinh in Vietnam changing vehicles at the V-L border and then on into Laos and back to Vietnam before ending up in Da Nang. I wonder what the Vietnamese think abut the Americans now? is a questioned posed, but never answered. Voice over narration, along with archive war footage attempts to put their trip into some sort of historical context. Sadly these adventurous two have done minimal reading and convey zero cultural, political or historical knowledge themselves as they trundle and bicker down the trail crying “Zabadee” at any Laotian they encounter. A camera crew in a back-up vehicle evidently accompanies them, though you never see them in shot. They would have done well to have read some of Rod Page’s excellent trip reports, or, even Lonely Planet to show a little understanding of the significance of the HCM trail and present day Laos/Vietnam, almost four decades after the conflict. Their journey through the Laos section of the HCM trail provides for the most interesting parts of this travelogue with stunning Karst mountain views and interesting red roads with river crossings. A night spent in a “Santa’s own grotto brothel” is laughed-off though no tell-tale video shows us where, or, the standard of accommodation encountered. A meeting in Laos with two former USAF F-100 ‘Misty’ FAC pilots who had just met up with a former Pathet Laos SAM operator involved in shooting down one of their wingmen, was perhaps the most poignant part of this film. The Laos fighter had,they said, had visited and prayed at their friend’s grave in Arlington. The gals encounter with a scandi UXO deminer “Magnus” has them weak-at-the-knees along with two unexploded bombs he’s dug-up, and is only real danger they experience and the only justification for the inclusion of this trip in “Dangerous Roads”. Apart from standard SEA driving that is. With Laos Support facilities provided by GT-R sponsor, Remote Asia Travel, and sometime GT-R contributor Jimoi, along with Digby Greenhalgh also credited as advising, this episode is easily found on the web and available, for the next few days, on BBC iPlayer if you are using a UK vpn. Worth a viewing if you are thinking of driving the Laos section of the HCM trail in your Thai 4x4. Vietnam is still closed to Thai registered vehicles.