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Equal parts naff, eccentric and delightful, the Caravanner of the Year competition may just be our favourite new event. Seriously – we demand annual TV coverage starting now.
In a nutshell
As a concept, Caravanner of the Year sounds fantastically absurd and terrible. Like one of Alan Partridge’s hastily dreamt-up TV show ideas, to be filed next to Inner City Sumo and Youth Hostelling with Chris Eubank. But it’s an actual thing, invented by the Caravan Club. And we really didn’t think we would enjoy watching it as much as we did. This two-part documentary about the event kicked off last night introduced the plucky contestants, who stubbornly cling to their passion for caravans despite everything Top Gear has done to rubbish them in the public eye.
The most challenging part was the “awning assembly speed trial”, wittily nicknamed “divorce in a bag”. They came perilously close to all-out slapstick as they fiddled about with bits of awning, and that was followed by yet more tasks designed to test their caravanning skills to the utmost. And while it was all very easy to scoff from the sofas and all this apparent nonsense, there was also something strangely admirable about this lot. Maybe it’s the sheer Britishness of it all. Not cool in any way, but brilliantly uncool.
What's the verdict?
Funny, yes, but we also ended up actually caring about who was winning, and what the judges would think. Although you have to wonder how people actually might end up becoming judges of a caravanning competition. Somehow we doubt Clarkson, Hammond or May will ever be in the running.