The strange Clun coincidence

Bit of a televisual coincidence last week. We had just watched BBC property search show, Escape To The Country. The episode, presented by Nikki Chapman, featured a visit to Clun in Shropshire. According to the poet A.E. Housman, Clun is ‘the quietest place under the sun’. Personally, being neither a poetry buff (unless you count Pam Ayres, that is) nor especially widely traveled, I’d never heard of the place. Shana ditto.

So far, so uneventful. Until the evening, when Shana, at a loss for anything to watch since the end of the recent run of University Challenge, chanced upon Watercolour Challenge, a series of which we both had fond, if hazy memories. Presented by Hannah Gordon, it was on Channel Four in the late 1990s into the early 2000s and was on the whole what I would call a ‘feelgood’ programme: pretty locations, none of the nastiness and overcompetitive stuff that arrived later with horrors like the infamous quiz The Weakest Link.

And the very first episode available on Channel Four’s On Demand service just happened to be set in (of all places) Clun in Shropshire. And yes, HG did quote from the A.E. Housman poem, and the programme was just as good as we remembered it being.

But just fancy, Clun being brought to our attention, as it were, on the same day, from programmes recorded nearly two decades apart.

Cue theme from Twilight Zone, etc etc 🙂


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