Channel hop

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 May, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 May, 2010, 12:00am

Remember career days back at school or university - when one had to confront an utter lack of future direction? Reviewing this week's programmes, we can't help but think that if Tourism Queensland, J.J. Abrams or either of The Hairy Bikers had set up a booth at one of those torturous events, our life would have taken a very different turn.

Then again, the 35,000 people who applied for the opening as caretaker of the islands of Australia's Great Barrier Reef would probably tell you it's never too late to go after your dream job. It certainly paid off for Ben Southall, who spent six months last year island hopping and hamming it up for the cameras - all in the name of promoting the natural wonders and tourist attractions of Queensland's diving paradise. Take a look at 34-year-old Southall's adventures on The Best Job in the World (National Geographic Channel; Tuesdays at 10pm) and the official blog ( and judge for yourself whether the job lived up to the claims.

Now that it's all over, we'd be interested to know what if feels like for Southall, going back to being a charity fund-raiser and ostrich-rider (no joke) in Hampshire, southern England - that is, if he can handle the boredom.

Elsewhere in Britain, joyriders David Myers and Simon King (pictured, left, with Myers) have lumbered back onto their Hesketh and BMW bikes, respectively, for another cooking and travel adventure - this time in baking. The Hairy Bakers (BBC Lifestyle, Mondays at 8pm) are on a quest to find Britain's best gourmet breadmakers, pie-bakers and designers of wedding cakes, as well as ordinary people with secret recipes. If you don't mind a few hairs on your tart (mind out of gutter, please), join these un-coiffed freewheelers as they flour up their motorcycles. To be a full member of the team you'll need to get a Che Guevara tattoo - Myers and King both have one, on their right arms.

To work for television producer J.J. Abrams, one must be versed in sci-fi speak: of abductions and conspiracies, mutants and psionics. Described as 'X-Files meets Dark Angel', Fringe (TVB Pearl; Wednesday at 10.50pm) has all the usual elements of an Abrams series - FBI agents investigating occult conspiracies; a mad scientist whose lab is equipped to cut open all manner of mysterious cadavers and make custard pudding; a powerful corporation with murky beginnings and shaky morals and motives.

In season two, agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) is hit by a bad case of jet lag from her trip to and from a parallel universe. Of course, the fate of our world hinges on what she discovered during the journey - which she struggles to remember while dodging attempts on her life by a shape-shifting stranger.

If you want a career in suspension of disbelief, Abrams is the best in the business. Just be tactful during the interview - as long as you remember not to stare at the abduction scars on his extra head, you'll do fine.