With temperatures in Croatia currently hitting 35 degrees I was quite pleased to be spending this morning in a hotel meeting room recording a sketch for our truffles item that we have lined up in a few days time. Then next up we got to cower in some shade in Zagreb Old Town shooting another sketch about a man applying for a job as a gas street lamp lighter. I was playing said man, the joke being I had ridiculously long arms. These were cabled tied on to me, which cut into my skin a bit. I found myself gritting my teeth to get through it all, which hopefully won’t be noticed by the viewers at home.
After scoffing some burgers we got to meet a genuine gas lamp lighter called Sasha. Zagreb Old Town has 239 gas lights – the highest number of any city in the world. Sasha walks round the town for 2 hours from 5pm flicking the lamps on with a long stick and spends another 2 hours from 5am flicking them off again, a job he’s been doing for 15 years. As we left having finished filming around 9.30pm I noticed garishly bright electric lights hanging over the roads on wires and realised that the gas lamps are probably more for touristic reasons than any practical purpose!