Extraordinary escapes with our Sandi Toksvig

Thursday:Extraordinary Escapes with Sandi Toksvig; (Channel 4, 9pm)
Sandi ToksvigSandi Toksvig
Sandi Toksvig

Holidays… Remember those?

Okay, so with travel restrictions having eased during the past few months, it’s now far easier to get away than it was at the height of the pandemic, but some people are still put off travelling due to various rules and regulations.

That’s why Extraordinary Escapes with Sandi Toksvig could prove to be inspirational and influential in getting folk off the sofa and out and about.

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The first series went down a treat with viewers, who loved having the opportunity to explore some of the most amazing places our nation has to offer, all from the safety of their own armchairs. If you missed it, the format is simple – in each edition, Toksvig hangs out with a famous female she admires while taking in the sights and sounds of a particular region.

Alison Steadman, Jessica Hynes, Sindhu Vee and Toksvig’s former Great British Bake Off cohort Prue Leith were the original participants, enjoying trips to Suffolk, Kent, Scotland and The Cotswolds respectively. It was followed by a Christmas special which branched out by taking Deborah Meaden, Fay Ripley and Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock to Norway.

Now Toksvig is back in Blighty for the second run.

“We’re delighted that the irresistible combination of Sandi’s brilliant brain, wonderful warmth and fabulous female travel buddies was such a hit with viewers, and we are thrilled to be continuing the Extraordinary Escapes journey,” says Deborah Dunnett, commissioning editor for Features and Daytime at Channel 4.

“The second series will be packed to the rafters with even more remarkable women, spectacular properties and stunning landscapes as Sandi plays travel guide extraordinaire once more.”

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“Filming the first series of Extraordinary Escapes was the most heavenly experience so I’m delighted I get to spend yet more time in the company of six fabulous females against a backdrop of some of the country’s most beautiful bolt holes,” adds Toksvig. “I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to slowly wander through and admire the UK’s most tranquil landscapes – all in the name of work.”

Her first travelling companion is fellow comedian Sarah Millican, who she should know well from her appearances as a panellist on QI. She’s taking a break from her epic 170-date tour to join Toksvig in Devon, where they clearly enjoy each other’s company while having non-stop laughs.

Their first residence is a Scandi-inspired retreat built into a wooded hillside; later they move to a 16th-century mill house with a dramatic, waterside position.

During their stay, they commune with nature on Exmoor (where Millican is particularly enamoured by the local ponies), go rock pooling in Lee Bay and enjoy a spa at Crowness Cleave.

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Future episodes are set to feature actors Sue Johnston and Sunetra Sarker, comedians Sara Pascoe and Jenny Eclair and psychotherapist and author Philippa Perry. Destinations covered are Cornwall, the east coast of Scotland, Wales and the Highlands and Islands.

Who knows, after tuning in, you may be booking yourself a well-earned break, either at home or abroad.

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