Netflix’s This Could Go Anywhere with Phil Tufnell and Brendon McCullum – a preview

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4 minute read

Piss off golf.

It is a phenomenon we will never be able to wrap our head around. Cricketers liking and talking about golf.

No offence to golf – which is a perfectly decent sport if you want to fake-befriend late-middle-aged men who have the power to give you a promotion – but it is a different sport to cricket and should stay in its own damn lane.

And so to This Could Go Anywhere, a new Netflix series revolving around a New Zealand road trip taken by Phil Tufnell and Brendon McCullum.

What’s it about?

If your two protagonists are former cricketers, what else is it going to be about? Golf, of course.

Is it any good?

Don’t know. We’ve not watched it yet. We will do, but there’s a bit too much actual sport going on at the moment to be investing time in watching two people who were very good at one sport playing an entirely different one – especially if that sport is one we do not particularly like.

Is it really just about golf?

Mmm, probably not. The trailer starts with Brendon McCullum struggling to start the hire car, so seems like maybe the golf bit is just the spurious premise justifying the road trip.

“Cricketers Brendon ‘Baz’ McCullum and Phil ‘Tuffers’ Tufnell go on an exhilarating road trip to explore New Zealand’s most picturesque golf courses,” says the blurb.

Are there ‘japes’ and ‘bantz’?

Looks worryingly like there might be.

Is there any cricket? Like, any cricket at all?

Possibly. Brendon McCullum talks about Viv Richards a bit in a segment that looks like an unfunny version of The Trip.

Pretty big ‘overfed Godfather’ vibe coming from Tuffers in that shot.

Is there some steak cooked on a rock?


This is the first bit that’s really selling the series to us.

Our preferred mindless YouTube viewing at the minute is the Wilderness Cooking channel. This is an Azerbaijani guy who makes fires and cooks meat. Our favourite bit is at the end of each video, when he tastes the food. He gives this kind of half-head-shake of satisfaction, then he puts his thumb up and says, “super”. Quite often this is the only thing he says in the entire video.

It’s such a simple premise that they’ve gradually added complexity so there’s usually an unlikely preamble now. At the start of one video, he makes the knife that he then uses to prepare the food. At the start of another, he digs a massive hole and then builds himself a tandoor before cooking in it. We’re not quite sure where he goes next though because one recent video started with him building an actual house.

Hard to say whether This Could Go Anywhere’s steak-cooked-on-a-stone scene will live up to this. We fear not.

Do they go skydiving?

Looks like it.

And shooting through water in some sort of high-powered submarine thing?

Guess so.

What else do they do?

They go fishing, they get massages, they do a thing where you appear to get lowered at speed from a very tall building. A whole bunch of stuff.

So basically they’re on holiday then?

Yes, only because it’s a TV programme, they’re being forced to do all of the things and not just some of them.

Worth a watch?

We’ll report back.

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  1. Non-golf sportspeople being into golf is a pretty common phenomenon – cricketers, footballers, rugby players. It might be something to do with it having some of the characteristics of activity they enjoy (exercise, competitiveness, etc) but also being possible to do when you are no longer of an age where you can maintain the sort of elite fitness levels with which Phil Tufnell is synonymous.

  2. Why is Brendon McCullum’s nickname ‘Baz’? Surely that should be reserved for people named Barry.

    1. We always think that. It’s one of those things we’ve looked up three times and forgotten again.

    2. Middle name is Barrie. The more interesting question would be why is his brother’s nickname Mattress?

      I did watch an episode once when it was on TV here in NZ. I think I was stuck under a sleeping 1 year old and couldn’t reach the remote or any other device and didn’t want to move lest he woke up. It is a pretty standard holiday through NZ programme which isn’t really of any interest to someone who lives in NZ. So, I may have joined my son in sleeping.

      I think there were some almost interesting bits when they were talking about the challenges of international cricket but not much more than that.

  3. Completely unconnected. Did you see India’s white ball team thrash Sri Lanka in the first ODI?
    Might be the start of a wonderful new phase of separate white ball and red ball teams?
    I believe KC is not a fan of the idea but may address one of your pet peeves of too much cricket in the players’ schedules. The ODIs vs Pakistan also showed how much depth there is in the England team.

    1. Separate squads is not a solution, but imperfect management of an unnecessary self-inflicted problem.

  4. I watched two episodes and think that Ibking has nailed it. A colleague who looked after golf greens in NZ said I should give it a go. If I remember it correctly, after the rigmarole of cooking the steak on a hot rock they didn’t show them eating it. The reason why Tuffers gave up cricket was entertaining but I’ve heard it a couple of times before on TMS.

  5. For the interested there is a detailed obit of John Woodcock in The Times today. Also an excellent article on Woodcock by Mike Atherton.

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