Why Rome and humble carpenters don't mix - Telly Talk

As an avid watcher of the new Channel Four documentary series 'Rome Wasn't Built in a Day' filmed in Shropshire I can honestly say I saw the sacking of carpenter Fred Farray coming a mile off.

As an avid watcher of the new Channel Four documentary series 'Rome Wasn't Built in a Day', I can honestly say I saw the sacking of carpenter Fred Farray coming a mile off.

It's been clear over the past three weeks that his inability to adapt his Chippy skills to the job and his work ethic were about as welcome as a skunk at a garden party.

And so it came to pass that in last night's episode that Fred and his 'dodgy' Roman-esque cart were given their marching orders from Wroxeter.

Foreman Jim Blackham called in timber frame expert Dylan to examine Fred's handiwork after noticing some major problems with one of his roof trusses for the Villa Urbana, which the team were filmed building at Wroxeter Roman City, near Shrewsbury.

His fiery face-to-face appraisal of Fred's skills, a joiner with 30 years experience, was like watching one of those BBC TV exposes about cowboy builders when they catch up with the culprit.

But I actually felt a bit for Fred. Yes, his angles were wrong - a "fundamental" and "dangerous" mistake  - but he had been holed up in bed for a week with a kidney infection so was not party to everything going on in his absence.

Inspecting Fred's work, Jim said: "It looks like a piece of crap to me. There's nothing been cut straight, man. He couldn't even hold a bloody saw straight."

Ouch.

Jim demanded a new carpenter immediately and then walked off.

Fred, who was left awkwardly playing with his tape measure, said: "At this point I think I'm ready to resign," in a quip reminiscent of The Office's David Brent.

The six-part series follows a group of of modern day workmen trying to build an authentic Roman villa at Wroxeter using only traditional methods.

In last night's programme the builders faced their most challenging and dangerous phase of the build: constructing the giant timber-frame.

After finding suitable trees in a Shropshire wood, they then began turning them into the huge frames for the villa.

One of the most amusing parts of last night's show was when Professor Dai Morgan Evans showed his over-emotional side with a tear-jerking moment right at the end.

It was about as cringe-worthy as Kate Winslet's Oscar speech a few years ago.

By Russell Roberts

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