Standing in a dusty valley surrounded by over 70 sand sculptures in Southern Portugal I find myself having another “how did I end up here?” All Over The Place moment. Series 6 has just got underway and after an early morning rise the team and I piled onto a bus and left our harbour side hotel in the city of Faro to film this impressive tourist attraction. Every year in this back of beyond spot of the Algarve they pick a theme and invite sculptors to come and work at turning compacted sand into recognisable forms that will will bring the punters flocking. This year’s theme is music, and 4 metre “sandcastles” of stars like The Rolling Stones and Madonna tower over you as you explore the winding sandy paths.
Being ‘All Over The Place’ we can’t just stand around passing observations about them. After a couple of quick fire interviews with this block’s co-presenter Victoria Cooke and me shouting questions at slightly confused Portuguese contributors we move on to dressing Vic up in a number of sweltering costumes so that I can interview Elvis, Lady Gaga and Elsa from ‘Frozen’ (who turns me into a sandcastle of a snowman for reasons that I can’t be bothered to go into). Vic handles the donning of a fur coat in 30 degree heat very well. That’s what we like on this show – presenters who can tolerate being borderline abused on a daily basis.
Once that’s all in the bag and we’ve grabbed some lunch in the sun we make our way down to the beach and start work on this year’s big project – the end of series song. It’s going to include every guest presenter in every location, so our director Neil teaches us some Ed Petrie friendly dance moves as fishermen fix their nets in the background (proper men doing proper jobs). Having built up a sweat pretending to be in One Direction I then have to dress up as Captain Jack Sparrow and shoot a sketch about a pirate who’s afraid of the dark trying to find his nightlight (again, it’ll make sense when you see it… I hope).
Then it’s back to our hotel in Faro to catch the sun going down from our hotel rooftop so we can pretend we’re on holiday for an hour. 1 day’s filming, 4 fancy dress costumes, a crazy location, a song and a comedy sketch. Welcome to ‘All Over The Place – Europe Part 2’!