Talking of foreign languages, and Cornwall in particular, turns out Mrs M and I were not the only ones who scratched our heads and turned up the volume during the BBC’s three-night run of Jamaica Inn.

We had put the mumbling and low grunts down to the Beeb drama department taking the Cornish accent theme a little too far. Turned out hundreds of people complained to the corporation, outraged that their licence fee was wasted on poor audio quality. It was never like this with Poldark.

It was a technical hitch, and by episode two the BBC appeared to have ironed out the audio, although Uncle Joss continued to require sub-titles as he led his smuggler band along the rugged coastline communicating through a variety of drunken grunts and whistles.

What author Daphne du Maurier would have made of the version of her classic swash-buckling tale I don’t know. Maybe she would have enjoyed the gritty reality of the dour, colourless life the Cornish appear to have led in those days when a bit of ship-wrecking must have provided light relief from mumbling in the mud.

Perhaps that’s why Cornwall lost its nationhood in the first place (see other article on this blog). Could be no one understood them when they muttered something about not wanting their country nicked by the English. A simple misunderstanding. Shout up next time Joss – and pass the knock-off brandy.

• Although Daphne sited her smuggling drama at Jamaica Inn near Launceston, any traveller to those parts will know the real pub lies about as far from the sea as is possible in Cornwall. Although it is steeped in tales of highway robbery and smuggling, the Inn is on Bodmin Moor. Had the smugglers really dragged their brandy and baccy all the way to what is now the A31 they would have taken an age to get it into the Inn’s cellars. No wonder the Excise Men nabbed them.