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Not quite a vintage act.

Byline: Paddy Shennan

OZ Clarke was getting "polished leather, like from an old armchair", while James May described it as a "nipple erector" (Oz & James's Big Wine Adventure, BBC2, Wednesday).

Yes, of course, they were talking about the taste, and possible effect, of a particular champagne. What did you think they were talking about?

At the end of this five-part series, I was pleased to learn that May, the shaggy-haired 1970s throwback, had enjoyed a "good holiday" in France at the licence-payers' expense.

But I wasn't sure I agreed with Clarke, who described their time in France as a "really special few weeks".

Average, I'd say. At best.

Perhaps it didn't help that May was already guilty by association -association with Top Gear. I was getting hints of charmless arrogance and boorishness. And from the largely inoffensive Oz Clarke, I was getting very little at all.

This was the basic trouble with the series - there was little that was endearing, engaging or entertaining about this double act. Wine expert Clarke overdid his impatient headteacher act and May overdid his "I know what I like and what I don't like -and I don't like this poncey, overpriced stuff" routine.

But at least May learned a bit about the wine world - and has developed a taste for champagne, which he previously hated.

So that's something... I suppose.

CAPTION(S):

ODD COUPLE: James May and Oz Clarke
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 23, 2006
Words:234
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