Smuggling has an oddly cosy ring to it, like something you'd do during a Sunday lie-in. It evokes images of ruddy-faced pasty-munchers shifting cheese in a row-boat rather than terrified mules downing condoms of heroin.

Brits see it as sport, claimed Smugglers (ITV, Tuesday 9pm). It's just not a holiday if you don't load your car with enough fags to choke a lab full of beagles; duping HMRC on your way home is as integral as punching a donkey and being sick in a sombrero.

After all, anyone caught gets off with a caution. They should be made to smoke the lot in one go, like when you got busted as a kid.

A bored-sounding Border Agency official dubbed it "a cat and mouse game". "It's not a few lads with a couple of grammes stuck up their jumpers," he explained, mercifully omitting to reveal where they do stick it. Another added: "The smugglers realise we are an island." Boy, those dope-runners really do their research.

At times you felt the signs at Dover saying 'Customs slow' were not so much a command to drivers as a description of the staff. Yet they also deserved sympathy. Try patrolling 12,000 miles of coastline using just a couple of dinghies and an Alsatian with a coke habit.

While many of the eight billion cigarettes imported illegally a year come in the boots of day-trippers, harder drugs are shifted on an industrial scale. Apt, as what goes up noses in the nation's nightclub toilets is invariably cut with large quantities of industrial detergent.

Fyffes had a cameo as banana of choice for drug-running Romanians who'd hidden their stash of cannabis resin beneath the legitimate cargo. The driver his face blurred either by the ITV graphics team or perhaps just too long without sleep and a shave didn't even know he was moving dope too. Crestfallen agency guys told him to truck off.

Most insidious of all were the underwater loads yoked to the boats of innocent seafarers, to be retrieved at the smugglers' leisure once the risky bit was over. Customs bods high-fived after thwarting these ingenious "parasitic attachments".

Mind you, thanks to hospitable Spanish bar staff and too much tequila, we've all come back from holiday carrying those.

More from this column