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Ben Bailey Smith loves the quaint towns of Cornwall

Ben Bailey Smith
Ben Bailey Smith

It sees Gervais’s The Office character David Brent as he pursues a music career and it was born out of a sketch the pair did for Comic Relief.

Meanwhile dad-of-two Ben, 37, who was Bradley Walsh’s partner in ITV’s Law And Order UK, has just written new kids picture book I Am Bear with friend Sav Akyuz.

I have family in Aberdeenshire and I love spending time there.

Because I live in London the wild openness, the rugged countryside and some of the dramatic sheer coastal drops are such a wonderful contrast.

The natural beauty and feeling of remoteness is the big appeal.

And it reminds me so much of my childhood holidays which were always in Cornwall. And I mean always.

Every 12 months my dad, who hated touristy places, seemed to make it his mission to look for ever more obscure places.

I’ll never know why – he passed away 10 years ago now – but trust me, I know Cornwall ridiculously well.

It was a long journey in my dad’s old Lancia, which I hated, but when you live in a city and don’t have a garden the countryside made it all worthwhile.

I remember Trebetherick and St Oswalds and a little place just down from Polperro which had a huge lake and endless woods to investigate.

Polperro, Cornwall
Polperro, Cornwall

My all-time favourite place wouldn’t be on most people’s list – Cali in Colombia. It’s an amazingly beautiful place and hugely underrated.

Obviously Colombia has this legacy of a reputation because of the drugs trade in the past and when my mate moved there about eight years ago everybody said he was crazy.

But within six months he was telling us it was the best place he’d ever lived and that he wasn’t going to leave –which he hasn’t.

I needed to see it for myself to get the prejudice out of my mind. It reminded me a bit of Berlin, another of my favourite cities, in that it has a certain image because of its past.

Like Berlin it has a whole new generation and they’ve put the past where it belongs and are so warm and welcoming.

The whole country has so much to like – sunshine, mountains, beaches and some great food.

And Medellin, which has such a connection to the drugs money of the past, reminded me a bit of somewhere like Brighton.

It’s very open-minded and the people are incredibly warm and friendly.

It’s a fantastic place to visit.


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