A Passion for Angling has been voted the nation’s favourite TV fishing programme in a UK-wide poll of anglers.
Casting their votes in a recent Angling Times survey, thousands of readers placed the series in the top spot, with more than a quarter of all those taking part naming ‘Passion’ as their favourite from 10 high-profile programmes.
First broadcast in the early 1990s, ‘Passion’, starring Bob James and Chris Yates, narrowly beat Total Fishing with Matt Hayes into second place by a margin of just three per cent of the vote, with the recently aired Catching the Impossible, starring AT columnist Martin Bowler, ccoming in third.
Further down the field an old favourite, Go Fishing with John Wilson - which ran from 1986 for an unprecedented 16 years ¬ came in fourth. Relative newcomers Extreme Fishing with Robson Green, currently in its third series on Channel 5, and River Monster presented by Jeremy Wade, on its second series on ITV1, were voted fifth and sixth.
“It’s great that people are still fans of A Passion for Angling even after 17 years,” Hugh Miles, the man behind the series, told AT. “It captured the traditional values of the sport and, in my opinion that’s what angling is all about. It’s also a bit of fun, which fishing should be, and I’m sure that’s why it’s still so popular with anglers.”
Hugh was also the man responsible for Catching the Impossible, a programme aired on terrestrial television for the first time earlier this year and voted third most popular.
“After A Passion for Angling, making another fishing series was always going to be tough,” Hugh continued, “but Catching the Impossible is a different kind of programme, and I’m ever so pleased that it’s been so successful and popular.
Martin Bowler put so much effort into the series and it’s brilliant to see it recognised in this way.” Angling TV star Matt Hayes, whose Total Fishing series was voted second in the AT poll, admits to being ‘gobsmacked’ by the result.
“I’m truly flattered and a bit embarrassed to have come in above the great John Wilson, who is a superb broadcaster, and Catching the Impossible, which is a brilliant series,” Matt told AT.
“A Passion for Angling is a work of art. Total Fishing, on the other hand, was shot on a real budget so I’m amazed to be so far up the list.
“Thanks to all the people who voted for me.”