TV’s most fearless presenter retains his cool throughout torturous train

Fancy being kidnapped and waterboarded? Man Martin does. “That sounds all proper! Can I’ve a go?” he requested eagerly in Our Man in Colombia (Channel 4), a brand new collection through which he samples varied hair-raising experiences. The kidnapping isn’t actual – it’s a coaching train supplied to Colombian MPs – however the waterboarding is. 

Martin lasted 40 seconds earlier than giving in and yelling the code phrase to finish the train. That won’t sound too lengthy on paper, however was fairly spectacular to observe. Martin was imagined to say “one, two, three” in Spanish to name a halt to it, however ended up talking German as a substitute. “I used to be a bit flustered,” he defined afterwards, however may nonetheless handle to smile. 

Being flustered isn’t Martin’s pure state. Because the voice-over famous when he volunteered to check a bulletproof vest by having somebody shoot him within the stomach at level clean vary: “Will probably be one of many few life-threatening experiences that Man has by no means had.” 

He’s not like anybody else on tv, a cheerily gung-ho character with no concern and no artifice in any way. Martin goes all in. He doesn’t have any time for TV hyperbole both. Strolling by means of Medellín at night time, he was always approached by drug sellers. Martin was unfazed, saying afterwards: “It’s most likely no totally different to going out in Grimsby or Leeds or London or Ibiza.” 

The programme did attempt to have its cake and eat it by stating on the outset that Martin would discover “whether or not Colombia can ever escape its narco popularity”, then continuing to spend the following hour discussing the cocaine commerce. Martin joined a commando unit coaching to tackle the medication cartels, demonstrated how cocaine is manufactured within the jungle, and went to interview the nephew of Pablo Escobar. Martin was clearly enthralled by the Escobar legend, listening wide-eyed to tales of his largesse, his murderous methods, and his non-public zoo. 

There is no such thing as a probability of losing interest whereas watching a Man Martin present. I did really feel a mite sorry for the Colombian vacationer board, although, who would most likely wish to dial down the homicide and kidnap and medicines facet of issues. So let me say, within the pursuits of steadiness, that I as soon as spent a pleasant week in Colombia, attending a literary pageant in Cartagena’s impossibly fairly outdated city. The ceviche was scrumptious and no person tried to kill me.

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