The tremendous upsurge in travel writing and in travel has led to a dangerous scarcity in interesting or gimmicky journeys for the travel writer or travel-programme-maker. This is why the BBC is launching a series of films of tremendously boring trips, under the generic title Great Bus Journeys of the World. In this series Paul Theroux takes the London Transport Number 19 from his house down to the shops. Michael Frayn goes on a sight-seeing tour round Sheffield, and Michael Palin pays five quid to go to India on an old Leeds Corporation double-decker. And I, in a bus-ride down memory motorway, take the number 006 National Coach from Liverpool to London. This extract from the journal of my journey is taken from a BBC merchandising pack which accompanies the series – it includes a book, video, tee-shirt, a soap dish and a bus (£17,000 from BBC Enterprises).
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