As his new series Our Man in Italy arrives on Prime Video, James May has told RTÉ Entertainment that he thinks the biggest misconception that viewers have about his travel programmes is that everything is scripted.

After the success of James May: Our Man in Japan, the intrepid presenter travels from the bottom to the top of Italy in his quest to find La Dolce Vita – with plenty of mirth, mischief and mistakes along the way.

There’s cheese in the show – but it’s not cheesy

“I think audiences possibly think that things are terribly scripted and set up – and they may well be with other travel shows!” said May. “I try not to watch them these days in case they sort of corrupt my own ideas!”

“I think, obviously, ours is to some extent set up – we plan things in advance,” he continued.

“There are some things I want to do, which they organise for me. There are things they think I should do, [which] they organise – quite often they come as a bit of a surprise!

Reeling from an encounter with personal shoppers

“But we like to try and be honest about it and say, ‘Well, you know, we are trying to find our own way around Venice and we will get lost. We won’t edit around that, because that’s what’s happened. It’s what would happen to you as well if you went there!’

“Hopefully, it demolishes a bit of the preconception about travel journalism that it’s all, you know, ‘Oh, I loved it here and the natives are so friendly and the food is so wonderful and the view is so beautiful’, which everybody says about everywhere! Now, it can’t be true of everything, of course not – all countries have their

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