Around The World In 80 Days (BBC-1 2009, Lee Mack, Frank Skinner)

This entertaining race against the clock was put together as part of the fundraising for the BBC’s yearly Children in Need appeal.

Over the six episodes a pair of celebs team up (different pair each episode) to try an recreate the routes undertaken by Jules Verne’s Phileas Fogg (and Michael Palin too of course). Starting out from the Reform Club in London the six teams have of course only 80 days to get back to where they started from.

Like Palin’s show crossed with a Top Gear challenge, this is part travelogue part game show with plenty of will they make it moments. The Group also had to stay true to the spirit of Fogg’s trip and couldn’t fly.

Each celebrity had to pick up souvenirs along the way to be auctioned off too.

The Teams
1.Frank Skinner and Lee Mack (Comedians – From the Reform Club in London to the Border of Turkey and Iraq)
2. Nick Hewer and Saira Khan (Turkey to Kazakhstan – not celebs in the truest sense of the word, these two were former contestants on The Apprentice. This section of the journey proved most problematic, because of election protests in Iran the duo were unable to get visas to travel through Iran and Uzbekistan. The couple had to resort to travelling by helicopter for some of the journey to make up for time lost. Which kind of defeats the whole purpose somewhat but the show was more about raising awareness for Children in Need than anything else.)
3. Julia Bradbury and Matt Baker (BBC TV Presenters – Kazakhstan to Mongolia)
4. Bill Turnbull and Louise Minchin (BBC Breakfast presenters – Mongolia to California)
5. John Barrowman and Mylene Klass (Actors – California to Tennessee)
6. Shane Richie and Josie Lawrence (Actors – Tennessee to England)

RELATED:   BBC Orders an Eighth Series of 'Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing'

Auction Items
UK to Turkey
Ukulele played by Frank Skinner
Pudsey bear signed by Frank Skinner
Pudsey bear signed by Lee Mack

Turkey to Kazakhstan
Pudsey bear signed by Nick Hewer
Pudsey bear signed by Saira Kahn

Kazakhstan to Mongolia
Pudsey bear signed by Julia Bradbury
Pudsey bear signed by Matt Baker

Mongolia to USA
Selection of paintings by Louise Minchin
Pudsey bear signed by Bill Turnbull
Pudsey bear signed by Louise Minchin

USA (California) to USA (Memphis)
Pink tutu
Pair of Around the World in 80 Days Boots
Pudsey bear signed by John Barrowman
Pudsey bear signed by Myleene Klass

RELATED:   BBC Remembers Michael Mosley on Friday June 14

Shane Ritchie’s Outfit from ‘Cargo’
Josie Lawrence’s Outfit from ‘Cargo’
Pudsey bear signed by Shane Ritchie
Pudsey bear signed by Josie Lawrence
Silver Harmonica

Other Items
Around the World in 80 Days Journal
Around the World in 80 Days Carpet Bag

production details
UK / BBC One / 6×60 minute episodes / Broadcast Tuesday 13 October – 17 November 2009

Executive Producer: Julian Mercer / Producer: Kez Margrie

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.