Adrian Chiles has been talking to the Independent about his new TV series called My Mediterranean with Adrian Chiles.
He will apparently begin his series by laying out its mission statement:
On my journey around the Mediterranean I want to show that religion actually does more good than harm. I won’t be seeking out the religious zealots – they get quite enough airtime if you ask me. I just want to find the majority; the nice, normal, gentle people who happen to be religious.
Sounds very nice.
According to the Indie piece, many of his TV/BBC colleagues didn't sound overly enthusiastic to begin with, but something apparently clinched the deal with the BBC - and that 'something' turns out to be 'very BBC':
BBC2 controller Kim Shillinglaw commissioned the programme after Chiles told her how he and a Muslim taxi driver had a late-night discussion, bid each other farewell with a “God bless you”, and, he concluded, “there wasn’t a piece of paper between us”.
That tells you a lot about a certain kind of BBC thinking, doesn't it?
Anyhow, Adrian Chiles's own attitude seems scarely less 'BBC' than Ms Shillinglaw's - despite all his time at ITV. He's a Catholic but proudly says that he's got:
...more in common with a liberal Jew and a liberal Muslim than I have with even a conservative Roman Catholic.
That could almost be a part of the official guidelines for Thought For The Day. Edward Stourton's Sunday programme might even adopt it as its own official motto.
In fact, Ed is surely bound to give Adrian a 'high five' next time their paths cross in Salford, and maybe he'll even invite the big man to join the Sunday presenters rota if we're lucky.
I'm sure Adrian Chiles would work his usual magic on the programme's ratings.