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Paul O’Grady’s Great Elephant Adventure, Sunday 31 March 2024, ITV1, “Thailand: The Elephant Capital”



ITV1 Title Card

In a heartwarming and humorous series, the late Paul O’Grady embarks on an adventure like no other—a two-part journey through Thailand and Laos—to celebrate the dedicated work of elephant conservation centres. Filmed before his untimely death, this series holds a special significance, as O’Grady’s love for animals shines through in his final TV project.

In the first episode, airing on Sunday, 31 March 2024, on ITV1 at 8:00 pm, O’Grady ventures to Chiang Mai, known as the elephant capital of Thailand. The city is a hub for these majestic creatures, with around 7000 elephants residing there. O’Grady’s first stop is The Elephant Nature Park, the largest rescue centre in the country, where he’s afforded a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect with these gentle giants.

O’Grady is in awe of the rescue centre and its mission to provide a safe haven for former working elephants, many of whom have endured tough lives in the logging and tourism industries. He’s privileged to assist in their care, observing first-hand the challenges faced by the elderly and injured elephants. One such elephant is Mae Sri, who bears the scars of a difficult past, and O’Grady’s empathy is evident as he helps soothe her arthritis with a traditional massage.

The episode also shows the measures taken to ensure the elephants’ dietary needs are met, as the team prepares special soft food for the seniors who have lost their teeth. O’Grady rolls up his sleeves and joins in the preparation of delicious, nutritious meals, ensuring these majestic creatures are well fed and cared for.


What stands out is O’Grady’s genuine connection with the elephants and his appreciation of the dedicated staff. He remarks, “It’s so beautiful here, it’s just a place of refuge for them,” acknowledging the life-changing work being done at the rescue centre.

Beyond the rescue centre, O’Grady explores the local culture, visiting markets, temples, and apothecaries, immersing himself in the rich tapestry of Thailand’s heritage. He also spends time with British expat Katherine, who has dedicated her life to caring for nine elephants at Boon Lotts Elephant Sanctuary. O’Grady assists her in teaching him the intricacies of becoming an elephant handler and learns the unique vocabulary used to communicate with these intelligent creatures.

O’Grady also visits the Friends of the Asian Elephant hospital, where he meets Motala, an extraordinary elephant who survived a land mine explosion but lost a leg. O’Grady witnesses the innovative use of a prosthetic leg and joins the team in taking Motala for a walk, an experience that is sure to stay with him.

Paul O’Grady’s Great Elephant Adventure is proof to the power of human-animal connections and the incredible impact conservation centres have on the lives of these majestic elephants. Join O’Grady on this emotional and humorous journey, airing Sunday night on ITV1.


Don’t miss this special adventure, premiering Sunday 31 March 2024 on ITV1 at 8:00 pm.

Isabelle aka Izzy Jacobs is the UK previews specialist at Isabelle is particularly drawn to crime dramas, but she also has a not so secret love for all things reality TV. In addition to her work at, Isabelle is also an avid traveler and a devoted foodie.

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