The Real Marigold Hotel
Confirmed for 15 February on BBC One at 9pm to 10pm
Wednesday 15 February
Starring a delightful new cast of well-known senior citizens - entertainer Lionel Blair, actress Amanda Barrie, snooker champion Dennis Taylor, TV personality Rustie Lee, Doctor Miriam Stoppard, presenter Bill Oddie, singer Sheila Ferguson and actor Paul Nicholas.
Embarking on a journey of a lifetime, this new four-part series sees the group travel thousands of miles to make a new home in Kochi, a city in the southwest Indian state Kerala. Inspired by, but otherwise unrelated to the blockbuster film, the series documents the authentic experience of the eight characters living out their golden years, to test whether they can set up a more rewarding retirement than in the UK.
As they adjust to life in India and to living together, initially the group members all have different opinions on their new surroundings. Rustie and Miriam seem charmed by their first days here, while Paul, Bill and Dennis rise to the challenge with humour and classic one-liners. However Lionel, the oldest member of the group at 87, finds dealing with the realities of living in India unsettling, with animals in the street and piles of rubbish that can distract from the beauty.
Sheila, who is used to living on her own, is keen to make sure she gets what she wants out of the trip. Paul takes her to try out an Ayurvedic massage which she finds profoundly calming and it triggers a positive shift in how Sheila feels about the whole experience.
Next, the group travel on traditional houseboats through the world famous backwaters, gliding along the vast waterways that crisscross through the villages and jungles. Leaving all of them charmed by India’s natural beauty and serenity, it marks a turning point for Lionel, who likens the magical setting to "the garden of Eden".
A party to meet the neighbours rounds off their first week, as several members of the group put on a performance for their new friends and everyone takes time to reflect on their time in India so far.
Pictured: Amanda Barrie, Paul Nicholas, Bill Oddie, Lionel Blair, Dr Miriam Stoppard, Rustie Lee, Dennis Taylor, Sheila Ferguson
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