Susan Calman goes on another ‘Grand Day Out’ to the Isle of Man

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Friday: Susan Calman’s Grand Day Out (Channel 5, 8pm)

The unfailingly likeable Scottish comedian Susan Calman and her beloved little camper van – a 1999 Romahome Daihatsu Hijet that she has christened ‘Helen Mirren’ – leave UK shores for the first time in this series.

They make for the self-governing British Crown dependency of the Isle of Man, a magical island full of beautiful landscapes, friendly people and exciting discoveries.

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She kicks things off by exploring the historic port of Peel, which was once a Viking stronghold. There, she meets a real-life treasure hunter, and takes a trip around the stunning harbour with the crew of a Viking longboat. She also gets a rare treat in the form of a local delicacy: a kipper and lime marmalade bap. Could this be the new Manx national dish?

Susan CalmanSusan Calman
Susan Calman

Across on the east coast is Laxey, a former mining village and home to the Great Laxey Wheel – the largest surviving original working waterwheel in the world. Susan gets to see it up close, and even has the privilege of turning it on for the upcoming tourist season.

Laxey also offers her the chance for a trip aboard a vintage tram on the Manx Electric railway, a picturesque line which is still used as a commuter route today.

Travelling south, she arrives in Douglas, the capital. There Susan meets the president of the world’s oldest continuously running parliament, the Tynwald, and ventures into the debating chamber – where she gets a surprise.

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The day she arrives it transpires that the politicians have handed control over to the island’s children, who are invested in a very important discussion.

Of course, there is one event that truly puts the Isle of Man on the map – the TT, an annual motorcycle race which dates back to 1907.

Due to this, Man is a popular destination for motorsport enthusiasts and petrolheads in general. However, it’s not only the TT that features at the island’s Motor Museum.

It’s there that Susan encounters a car that could have been made for her – the Peel P50, the smallest production car in the world which was designed and built on the island.

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Susan realises that the P50 could just about fit inside the back of Helen, which is no mean feat considering her Hijet is already one of the littlest camper vans around.

Fans of the series will know that an episode barely counts unless Susan is doing something entirely out of her comfort zone. This week she rounds off her stay at Man by taking her very first trip on an electric scooter. She uses this exciting but quiet mode of transport to explore the peaceful and atmospheric South Barrule Forest, before ending at a viewpoint at the southern tip of Man. There she has a clear view of the island’s tiny neighbour, which has the rather adorable name of the Calf of Man.

It’s a truly wonderful place to reflect on what Susan calls an unforgettable trip.

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