Take a peek at secret Scotland with Susan

Friday: Secret Scotland with Susan Calman; (Channel 5, 8pm)

Susan Calman is a proud Scot and has a deep love for her homeland. However, the world is a big place.

In March, when it was announced that Jane McDonald was stepping down from hosting her Cruising With and Holidaying With Channel 5 series, Calman was considered an ideal replacement.

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The comedian and presenter has been making waves on TV over the past few years after partnering with Kevin Clifton during the 2017 series of Strictly Come Dancing, fronting The Great British Menu on BBC Two, and hosting the likes of Top Class, The Lie, The Boss and Armchair Detectives.

Speaking about her new appointment with Channel 5, the 45-year-old said: “I can’t wait to go on exciting voyages and incredible journeys and take the wonderful viewers with me. It’s the start of a magnificent chapter and I can’t wait to get going!”

Sadly, as we all know, the travel industry came to a shuddering halt not long after the announcement, and the global cruise industry remains docked for the foreseeable future. Therefore, before Susna fully gets to work on her new far-flung series, she is back for another run of Secret Scotland.

As before, she will visit romantic and rugged locations and take an in-depth look at their history, people and hidden treasures.

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“In my journey though Scotland, I’ve learned so much about where I live and marvelled at so many gorgeous places,” Calman says. “It really has something for everyone.”

Susan’s latest journey begins in the former industrial powerhouse of Falkirk. She embarks on a canal boat trip, before getting a privileged look inside the Falkirk Wheel, the world’s first and only rotating boat lift. Her trip continues with exclusive access to the largest equine statue on Earth, the Kelpies, before meeting the inspiration behind them – one of the largest breeds of horse on Earth, the Clydesdale.

A few miles from Falkirk, Susan uncovers Scotland’s fruitiest secret – a giant Georgian pineapple – and ventures into Midlothian, to explore a royal hideaway filled with stories of passion, betrayal and daredevil courage. There she meets some stunning birds of prey and tries her hand at the royal sport of falconry.

On East Lothian’s rugged coast, Susan is challenged to a stone-stacking contest at the site of the world championship – and while learning about a local gin, she discovers more about a small isle with secret stories of smugglers and claims to have inspired the famous tale of Treasure Island.

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Finally, Susan sets sail from North Berwick to BassRock – nicknamed Scotland’s Alcatraz. This stunning spot was once a prison, but Susan is captivated by its new feathered residents – the world’s largest single colony of northern gannets.

Travelling is clearly a dream come true for Calman, and she’s very much looking forward to her new Channel 5 series – after sharing her latest adventures in Scotland.

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