Will Self Takes The Waters

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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01The Ultimate Refreshment?20210217Will Self ponders the origins of our insatiable thirst for bottled waters.

How did mineral water become such a valuable commodity and is it a luxury the world can no longer afford?

Will's a confirmed fan of mineral water - yet he's puzzled by its enduring appeal when H2O flows freely from the tap.

Over five episodes, he investigates the history of five different mineral waters and the spa towns from which they spring. He's joined by 'water sommelier' Martin Riese who believes that mineral water should be regarded as a connoisseur product, just like wine. Riese serves 20 varieties of mineral water in his boutique hotel in Los Angeles.

Today, the story of Perrier, which comes from the south of France and sold 1.6 billion bottles in 2019. Perrier was first marketed by Englishman St John Harmsworth who bought up the spring in 1903.

Will investigates why Perrier took the world by storm and asks Nestlé, the brand's current owners, what they're doing to address widespread concerns about the environmental impact of their product.

Producer: Laurence Grissell

(Photo credit: Luther Self)

02Something In The Water20210224Will Self ponders questions of health in our insatiable thirst for mineral waters. When water flows freely from the tap, why are we so attached to the bottled variety?

Today, how Buxton rose to prominence as a spa town in the 18th and 19th centuries and what it owes to the grand spas of central Europe.

Over five episodes, Will investigates the story of five different mineral waters, and their enduring appeal.

Producer: Laurence Grissell

(Photo credit: Luther Self)

Will Self ponders questions of health in our insatiable thirst for bottled waters.

Will Self ponders the origins of our insatiable thirst for bottled waters.

03A Kind Of Magic20210303Will Self explores the role of magic in our insatiable thirst for mineral water and health spas.

Today, Will is transported to Scandinavia, as he samples popular Swedish mineral water, Ramlösa. He explores the magical qualities ascribed to water - now and in the past.

He also discusses a brand of glacial meltwater, which comes with an £85 price tag.

Producer: Laurence Grissell

(Photo credit: Luther Self)

Will Self explores the role of magic in our insatiable thirst for bottled waters.

Will Self ponders the origins of our insatiable thirst for bottled waters.

04On The Rocks20210310Will Self explores the science behind mineral water in his exploration of our insatiable thirst for bottled H2O.

Will imagines himself in the Loire Valley on a water-tasting trip, accompanied by water sommelier Martin Riese.

They sample the French brand Badoit and explore the science of drinking water.

Producer: Laurence Grissell

(Photo credit: Luther Self)

Will Self explores the science behind mineral water.

Will Self ponders the origins of our insatiable thirst for bottled waters.

05 LASTWhat Goes Around20210317In this final episode Will's transported to the island paradise of Fiji - whose number one export is water.

He explores whether it's possible to justify shipping bottled water around the globe.

Closer to home, he speaks to Nestlé, the owners of Buxton Water, about their own environmental record.

Producer: Laurence Grissell