Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy
is to star in a new BBC Two travel documentary series, The Real Marigold Hotel
, which takes the cast on the journey of a lifetime.
The series, inspired by but otherwise unrelated to the blockbuster film, documents the authentic experience of eight famous senior citizens as they head to India on an experimental adventure.
Joining the 72 year old McCoy will be actor Miriam Margolyes
, dancer Wayne Sleep
, comedian Roy Walker
, chef Rosemary Shrager
, darts champion Bobby George
, singer Patti Boulaye
and former news reader Jan Leeming
for three weeks to see if they would consider spending their golden years retiring to the other side of the world.
Four thousand miles from home, the group will land in colourful Jaipur, capital of the state of Rajasthan in Northern India, to test whether they can set up a better, more rewarding retirement here than in the UK.
In the scorching heat, the group will take over a haveli - an Indian private mansion - and from the moment they arrive they will have to work out how to set up home together: from who’ll cook and clean and whether they will hire staff, to how they will get around and spend their time.
Their unforgettable Indian adventure will see the group fully embrace Indian culture, from the surprises of the capital’s largest slum to meeting Jaipur’s Royal family at the opulent Rambagh Palace. As they settle into local life, members of the group will take to yoga and learn some Hindi, experience shopping in the hectic streets, hunt for potential properties and take advantage of the medical care. We’ll see them visit the Ganesh Chaturti festival, ride elephants, make a trip to one of the holiest Hindu cities in India, Varanasi, and also test out long-distance travel by embarking on a 150-mile trip to the jewel in India’s crown, the Taj Mahal.
From the environment to the food, the transport to the customs, moving away from the UK is guaranteed to be a culture shock for our cast - as they leave routines and loved ones behind to adapt to living together and to a completely new way of life.
The series is set to air late-January 2016
Interview with Sylvester McCoyYoung at heart, Scottish actor Sylvester is most famous as Doctor Who and recently appeared in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies. A real people person, he wants to find out how the elderly are treated in India, and is set on visiting slums and understanding how the poor can seem so happy when living in what, by western standards, is such squalor.What was the highlight of your stay?
Watching a young gypsy man, Danesh, enthusiastically teaching his joyful class of slum children how to read and write English, in his spare bedroom. Tell us about some of the people you met
I dined with kings, drank cocktails with Maharajas, but best of all was dancing with puppeteers in the slums of Jaipur. What was your role in the group?
To raise a smile, and play the spoons!