21 July, South Korea – ‘All Over The Place – Asia, part 2’

This is the first TV show on location that Tee Cee has filmed, and today it was time for her children’s presenter right of passage – getting very very messy.

The Boryeong Mud Festival began 18 years ago when a cosmetics company was looking for a way to promote their skin enhancing mud packs made from local sea mud. It’s now morphed into an event stretching over days, with a mud arena by the beach made up of huge inflatable slides, pools and obstacle courses, all doused in liberal quantities of mud and water.It’s brilliant.

Our hotel was right next door, and when we walked over we were greeted by the ‘Mud Prison’, a large cage where people are lined up and then pelted and sprayed with mud to get them in the mood. Booming dance music echoed over the site as we did our best to conduct an interview and then got hosed and walloped all over with the stuff. In for a penny, in for a pound, so in no time at all Tee Cee and I were competing at the various challenges on offer, firstly the mud pillow fight, where we tried to knock each other off a muddy pole with inflatables. I failed at that one and, as the loser, had a bucket of gloopy mud tipped over my head.

Next up we headed for the huge inflatable mud slide, powering down the slippery surface into the murky brown liquid below. I got to the bottom first. One all.

The sun was making the mud dry pretty quickly and, just as promised, it was making my skin feel amazingly soft. We messed around in a few more sloppy pools before our final challenge – a large inflatable obstacle course. It was like being in ‘Total Wipeout’, and very hard to stay on, with the surfaces being continually sprayed with water, so falling into the brown pool several times was pretty much inevitable. But because I reached the end still clinging to the obstacle wall and not in the water like Tee Cee, I was declared the winner. My prize? Having a bucket of mud tipped over my head.

It was the last day on ‘All Over The Place’ for our director of this block, Ewan, before he heads off to CBeebies to be a producer. He’s been with us since series 3 in the USA so it seemed appropriate to send him off with a bucket of mud over his head while he was giving his “that’s a wrap” speech, and then a few of us piled down to the sea to wash off the mud in the lovely warm water as the sun set. Facing the journey back to Northern Europe and it’s unpredictable weather I couldn’t help feeling slightly envious of the South Koreans and the life they have here. Proper summers, proper winters, and a quality of life that seems to exceed what the average person back home gets to experience. South Korea does seem to be where it’s at in the world right now. The place is booming, the people are friendly, and I’d like to come back one day.

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