It was with great excitement that last weekend we saw a return of An Idiot Abroad. The hilarious Sky 1 comedy travelogue is back for its third series.
For those unfamiliar with this programme, it is a creation of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. The concept of the programme is simple, Ricky and Stephen send their moaning and ungrateful friend Karl Pilkington on trips around the world. It is not all luxury but definitely adventure.
Ricky and Steve (Stephen Merchant) have very good research teams as they send Karl to unpleasant hotels, unusual sites and to meet crazy or even freaky people all for their amusement.
Karl is a stay at home, small minded individual who likes his home comforts. Mixing with other cultures and eating fried insects is not something he takes kindly too. In fact, the title of “An Idiot Abroad” sums up the perception of Karl as being uncultured and disrespectful to the world around us.
The first series was an absolute blast. The concept was new and involved Karl being sent away to see the wonders of the world. Whether it be in Brazil to see Christ the Redeemer, the pyramids of Giza in Egypt or the “Alright Wall of China” (as Karl calls it) was hilarity all the way.
The second series was a Bucket List concept. Effectively the things people want to do before they die. As Karl pointed out it was things other people wanted to do, not him. This could include swimming with dolphins which turned out to be swimming with sharks; climbing Mount Fuji or bungee jumping. Bungee jumping is something Karl never wants to do yet Ricky and Steve persist into trying to force him to do it.
The latest series, An Idiot Abroad 3 features Karl about to retrace the foot steps of Marco Polo. The journey (with slight detours from the original path) sees him travel from Venice, through Macedonia and India as well as China.
This series is a shortened version compared to the others, only consisting of 3 episodes.
There is a new twist though with this new series. Karl has an on screen travelling companion in Warwick Davis. For those unfamiliar with Warwick, he is a dwarf actor. Amongst other things he has played an ewok in Star Wars.
This maybe a good move as Karl tends to deliver his comedy classic one liners when in conversation with people. Having a companion who is likely to wind him up or do things against his will could be a recipe for comedy gold. This didn’t really come out too well in the first episode but time will tell.
For some reason and much to our delight, Karl often seems to end up dancing. He has a very unique, no holds barred approach to dancing. No matter where he is or who he is with he just flows naturally and it is great TV.
I’d strongly recommend you take the opportunity to watch this or indeed all of the earlier series.
If you don’t live in the UK then don’t worry. I’ve seen it shown abroad on the Discovery/Science Channel so check local TV listings.
There are also some brilliant books related to the series or written by Karl which are worth a read.
Overall we are delighted and very excited to see the return of An Idiot Abroad.
To read more of my reviews please click here.