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Heaven and Hell - Richard Madeley

Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Category: Daily Telegraph
 

Best holiday ever
The summer we spent in our own house in Cornwall was a great holiday. We were working on
This Morning and had six weeks holiday. We’d been going to Cornwall for years- it was where we had our first holiday when we got together in 1984- and we’d always loved it so, to have our own place was really special. Added to that pleasure it was the summer of the eclipse which was really dramatic in Cornwall and added to the feeling that it was a special time.

Best Hotel
The Beverley Hills Hotel is my favourite – in many ways it’s old fashioned but because its clientele is so demanding I think they’ve got everything just right. The pool is beautiful and the service around it first class; everything is very comfortable and it’s not stupidly expensive. We also can claim that we’ve been thrown out of it – we were on a fly drive holiday years ago and having never been, we stopped off to have lunch. We were all wearing shorts and the manager asked us to leave, just as Shelley Long was checking in. Our kids were mortified.

Need for a perfect holiday
First and foremost, I need sunshine, I don’t mind the occasional cloudy day but a good does of sunshine is essential; it just makes you feel so good. I can’t think of anything worse than going on a ski holiday- I’ve never been and never want to. A nice view is important too, and I like unpretentious hotels and a very big bed.

Always take with you
For some reason I always take a torch and keep it at the side of my bed. If I’m staying in a strange hotel it’s reassuring to know that if I wake up and can’t find my way around, that won’t be a problem. I always intend to take my own pillow because even in very good hotels the quality of pillows is poor, but I’ve never got round to it.

Best travel advice
Since 1992 when we went on a fly drive holiday, I’ve only ever taken carry-on luggage, I’ve never put anything in the hold. Occasionally Judy takes a bigger bag that has to be checked in but mainly the whole family travels like this. It takes a bit of nerve to do it but it makes life so much easier. You’re not worrying about losing luggage, you’re not hanging about waiting for luggage and if you’re hiring a car you’re at the top of the queue. I highly recommend it.

Worst Holiday
Years ago we went to Maderia and stayed in Reid’s Palace Hotel -the hotel Churchill used to go to. It looked incredibly romantic in the brochure, the setting was beautiful and the men had to wear dinner jackets in the dining room. The hotel itself didn’t disappoint but it was a truly awful holiday. The weather was woeful; it rained every single day; we got food poisoning from a tapas bar and were both ill for 48 hours and everyone around us was a pensioner. Even the airport was awful, it had the shortest landing strip I’ve ever seen so take –off and landing were hairy- I loathed it from start to finish.

Worst experience on holiday
We used to go to The Algarve a lot with the children and one night we came out of restaurant one night to find that the police were charging all non-Portuguese people who had parked their cars in this street. We all had to pay on the pot fines of about £50 and it was clearly a scam. It really soured the holiday for me. The guy in front of me was arguing vehemently with them and I was worried we were all going to be arrested.

Biggest packing mistake
I can smugly say I don’t have too many of them because I take so little. I have what I’m wearing and I take a spare pair of jeans, two or three T shirts, a pair of sandals, a charger for my mobile, my laptop, a basic shaving kit ,a book and of course my torch. I buy toiletries there and if I get fed up with my clothes I buy a shirt or whatever.

Worst Hotel
In Italy a long time ago we stayed in what looked like a beautiful hotel from the outside. When I went o bed there was the most awful smell. I checked all over the room and found a dead rat under the bed we checked out at once.

What do you always avoid on holiday
I always buy newspapers and I like being sociable, so I don’t avoid much but
in the south of France I avoid swimming in the sea. When the children were young they always got horrible ear infections whenever we allowed them to and at times you can see the sewage, it’s such a shame.

What do you hate about holidays
I don’t hate airports but Judy says that I turn into Basil Fawlty the minute I step inside one. I would argue that someone has to take charge. Judy is a very efficient human being but when she gets to an airport she goes to pieces and is full of doubt about everything – are we in the right terminal? Is this the right check-in desk? Are you sure this is the right gate? If I didn’t take control we’d never get anywhere.

Where to next?
I’ve never been to New York – Judy lived there for a while once, my kids have been, even our cleaner’s been; in fact, everyone I know has been… I hope to go in the next year or so.

Richard & Judy returns to Channel 4 on Monday 18th June at 5pm for an eleven week run.





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