Scorchio! The Fast Show’s Simon Day and John Thomson saddle up to work as Gauchos in the wilds of Argentina for a new BBC2 series called The Two Amigos: A Gaucho Adventure (premieres Sunday, August 31).
Here, Simon tells TV & Satellite Week about their travel show with a difference…
How did The Two Amigos: A Gaucho Adventure come about?
“We did a show on the History Channel a while ago called No County for Old Men, but I don’t think anyone watched it. Luckily for us though, someone at the BBC saw it and liked the relationship we had on screen.”
During your three-week trip you visited Pilar, where 10,000 people watch the country’s best horse riders compete in La Doma. What was that like?
“La Dorma was probably the most incredible thing I have ever seen. The horses literally go crazy. When you see rodeos in Hollywood films, it doesn’t really translate. We saw one guy get his face kicked in, but everyone cheered when he was carried off into an ambulance!”
You had a guide and teacher – Dario Gallardo – on your 10-hour drive along the banks of the Corriente River. Tell us about him…
“Oh, handsome Dario… I don’t think it comes across on screen how cool this guy really was. He had a very magnetic personality, and was a bit of a ladies’ man.”
He taught you the essential Gaucho skills, including lassoing and herding cattle to market. What was that part of your adventure like?
“The Creole horses are really happy and responsive, but I guess that’s because they have so much space to roam over there. And while we were at the ranch, they fed us and treated us really well, so I knew that the next task was going to be really hard work.”
That’ll be the three-day cattle drive in the wilds of Patagonia, bringing 200 cattle down a mountain pass?
“We were doing 10 hours riding every day and sleeping outside with the other Gauchos in tents. They got drunk, but John and I don’t drink and just wanted to go to bed. When John started snoring it didn’t go down too well, and I had to give him a few digs!”
So where would you like to head to next?
“I would love to go to the Far East. John and I thought about going to a Buddhist monastery, but we wouldn’t be able to speak for a week, so I’m not sure that would make great television!”