BBC One announced hit travel documentary series The Real Marigold Hotel will move to the channel when it returns to screens in early 2017.
“The first series was a big hit that connected with viewers of all ages in a really authentic and heart-warming way. It was entertaining whilst brilliantly enlightening which makes it the perfect fit for BBC One. It celebrates a big universal subject that we all care about and I’m looking forward to watching our new cast of characters explore India and reach an ever broader audience on BBC One.” – Charlotte Moore, Director BBC Content
The new cast of famous senior citizens embarking on a journey of a lifetime include entertainer Lionel Blair (pictured below in ITV soap Crossroads); actress Amanda Barrie, snooker champion Dennis Taylor; TV personality Rustie Lee; Doctor Miriam Stoppard; presenter Bill Oddie; singer Sheila Ferguson and actor Paul Nicholas (pictured above in BBC soap EastEnders).
Inspired by, but otherwise unrelated to the blockbuster film, the series documents the authentic experience of eight characters in their golden years as they head to India on an experimental adventure to see if they would consider retiring to the other side of the world. The new four part series will see the group travel thousands of miles from home and this time land in Kochi, a city in the southwest Indian state Kerala, to test whether they can set up a more rewarding retirement than in the UK.
BBC Two has confirmed a two-part Christmas special for 2016 The Real Marigold on Tour, starring some familiar faces from the first series of The Real Marigold Hotel. Four of the original cast return to BBC Two as actress Miriam Margolyes, dancer Wayne Sleep, darts champion Bobby George and chef Rosemary Shrager test out different retirement communities around the world, travelling to Florida and Japan.
Made by Twofour, the series successfully premiered on BBC Two earlier this year with impressive ratings and critical acclaim. It’s the highest rating factual series on BBC Two this year with a series consolidated average of 4.1million/13.6 percent share, and was awarded a prestigious Rose d’Or Award.
“The Real Marigold Hotel is a success story that we’re incredibly proud of and after winning the Rose d’Or we’re delighted to be working with the BBC to grow the series. The Christmas specials on BBC Two see Miriam and the gang in incredibly entertaining form and we’re excited to introduce a new band of intrepid travellers to India on BBC One.” – Andrew Mackenzie, Chief Creative Officer of The Twofour Group