If ever there was a sign that many of us are sick and tired of our hyper-connected, fast-paced digital world, then surely ‘slow TV’ is it?
The one million viewers who tuned in to watch a bus make the two hour journey round the Yorkshire Dales on Monday night seem to agree.
‘All Aboard! The Country Bus’, which followed the ‘Northern Dalesman’ bus along its 40-mile route through the picturesque national park, was a huge hit for BBC Four.
An average of 800,000 people tuned in, with a peak audience of 973,000 watching, which is more than Channel 5 could muster for their documentary on Adolf Hitler in the same time slot.
Now the Beeb are keen to make more ‘slow TV’, the concept of which originated in Norway.
Cassian Harrison, editor of BBC Four, said: “I’m incredibly pleased with how popular slow television has become. We’d hoped our Country Bus trip would be the perfect coda to a sun-kissed bank holiday weekend, but we never expected it to be our most popular slow journey yet.”
The appeal of the format - coverage of an ordinary event in its complete length - is that viewers can truly relax in front of calm programming - the antithesis to full-on dramas and most ‘bells and whistles’ entertainment shows.
Other ‘slow TV’ hits have included a two-hour sleigh ride through Norway and a narrow boat journey along the Kennet and Avon Canal. Earlier this year, BBC4 has also featured a series on Trainspotting.