British comedian Johnny Vegas has a dream – one involving tents, buses and languid lie-ins in imaginatively refurbished helicopters. He wants to create a luxurious glamping site where campers can cuddle up and watch the stars from inside an old coach imported from Malta and a Sea King chopper rescued from the scrap heap.

That dream has, in fact, already come partially true. In Johnny Vegas: Carry On Glamping (Channel 4, Wednesday, 9pm), the 2021 first series followed him as he launched his glamping business in Harrogate in Yorkshire. But a TV show cannot thrive on happy endings alone, and so for season two, Vegas and personal assistant Beverly Dixon are required to start over so that he can expand the business (the old site isn’t large enough, and must be vacated).

Their mission takes them to a pet farm outside Ipswich run by local TV personality Jimmy Doherty. He has a spare site that would suit Vegas well and wonders about the comedian’s financial projections. It turns out Vegas doesn’t have any, and you can see Doherty’s totting up his misgivings in real-time.

Vegas has second thoughts, too – especially when he hears Doherty would have to let the funnyman fend for himself businesswise. But he’s ultimately too distracted to dwell on the finances. Doherty has a collection of camels Vegas would much rather rub. The camels seem indifferent – but Vegas can’t contain himself and is soon petting like a pro.

It’s enjoyably chaotic fun. Carry On Glamping doesn’t know where it is going because Vegas has no idea what he’s doing (or so we are encouraged to believe). At one point, he announces to Bev – with whom he has a very Alan Partridge-Lynn Benfield energy – that he wants a helicopter for the site.

Does he have a price in mind, she wonders. “About 400 quid – they’re scrap,” he says. In the next scene, the used helicopter salesman explains that the machines start at £20,000. Vegas isn’t perturbed and acquires a different helicopter at a knock-down price after promising to do a gig as part payment. “I’ve got tiny hands, tiny feet – I want a big chopper,” he shrugs.

There is obviously a time and a place for jokes about big choppers – and that time and place is a midweek Channel 4 reality show about Johnny Vegas trying to get his glamping business up and running for the second time of asking. It’s the sort of silly fun you’ll want to pitch up in front of so that you can inhale its toasted marshmallow energy.

published 2024-01-30 07:58:41