From Time Out (23 Jan '86):
Documentary about Norman Lewis, prolific travel writer and recent autobiographer, whose Jackdaw Cake revealed one of the most bizarre upbringings in recent English history. This film is more anecdotal than biographical and as such, is fascinating. Lewis is such an unassuming, lugubrious man whose qualities as a travel writer should serve as a blueprint for anyone wanting to start: he possess a self-confessed 'fascination with customs, sense of history and an eye for the small details of life. Plus an abnormal quota of curiosity and quite a sense of adventure.' Working colleagues Don McCullin reckons he's achieved so much through 'not being loud or agressive.' 'Arena' concentrates on Lewis' book 'Naples 44, written while working as an intelligence officer in the city, but also manages to draw Lewis into other areas: the tribal Indians, for example, who are his 'ideal human beings'. Lewis is now in his 70s — I'd be pleased with a tenth of his success, his knowlege and his modesty at that age.
This programme was directed by Tristram Powell.