About this book
This new book from popular TV personality and journalist John Carter, presenter of ITV's Wish You Were Here.? from 1987 to 1997 and the BBC's Holiday from 1969 to 1987, lifts the lid on the stories that never made it to screen or press, sometimes because they had no bearing on the article or destination report he was compiling, but often because they could not be told for fear of the consequences, from behind-the-scenes mishaps to hilarious encounters with famous names.
Having travelled the world for over half a century on behalf of newspapers and magazines, radio and television programmes – and, occasionally, just for the fun of it – John Carter has a vast store of tales to tell. Now he has put a selection of those stories down on paper. Of necessity, names have occasionally had to be changed not only to protect the innocent, but to save the blushes of the guilty.
As well as those and other true stories, this book is laced with 'factions': tales that are based on real incidents and encounters – on cruise ships, as it happens – but which have been 'tweaked' to provide the neat ending that real life usually neglects. Though, as this collection proves, real life is far more unlikely than the strangest of fiction.
"During my work on television, people would often say they liked what I did because I seemed to be genuinely enjoying myself," he says. "The most frequent comment was that they hoped to get as much from their holiday as I did. Which is why I have finally set down my own rather unbelievable experiences."
Whether evading Italian film companies in Yugoslavia – and accidentally encountering Sophia Loren – getting thrown out of a royal reception in Morocco or being press-ganged into acting as a tour guide on his very first trip to the USA, John Carter has enjoyed his travels and revels in the unexpected situations that he has faced along the way.
About the author
John Carter is one of the UK’s best known travel journalists and presenters, having worked for nearly thirty years on programmes such as ITV’s Wish You Were Here.? and the BBC’s Holiday. He has travelled the world for over half a century on behalf of newspapers, magazines, radio and television programmes in a professional life that has been crammed with incidents and encounters, many of which never made it to the printed page or television screen. Now, for the first time, he has set those stories down on paper.
The Burgundy Jacket
Lights, Camera, Action!
My Colleagues and Other Animals
La Dolce Vita
Hump – or Chump
Lobster at 30,000 Feet
The Flying Lesson
Day Trip to Saint Lucia
An Invitation to ‘The Pig’
A Life on the Ocean Wave
White Man’s Silver Bird
Encounters Down Under
The Light Fantastic
The Ghastly Brenda
A Bed for the Night
Gently Down the Stream
Miss Priestley’s Shipboard Secret
The Big Apple Corpse – and other Manhattan Memories
The Odd Couple
Og the Wench
'Veteran reporter and TV presenter John Carter was once told that a bona fide ‘traveller’s tale’ should be 100 per cent true and 99 per cent unbelievable. After almost six decades of globetrotting, Carter has plenty such tales to tell, and he sets out in this collection a little over 30 of his favourites. He offers amusing glimpses behind the curtain of the travel industry, relates encounters with royals and film stars, skewers the more odious traits of British holidaymakers, reveals conflicted feelings about the mass tourism that he himself helped engender and paints a vivid picture of the golden age of Fleet Street journalism. A delightful read.'
Richard Tarrant, Lady Magazine
'It's an excellent guidebook to Sardinia before the Aga Khan discovered it, communist Bulgaria in the 1960s, Teheran during the time of the Shah… Above all, Gullible's Travels shows how an excellent jaunt isn't about the quality of the destination's tourist offerings but its people. It's whom you meet and the conversations you have that count.' The Oldie