The BBC’s hit travel documentary series The Real Marigold Hotel is returning for a Christmas special and second series after being met with strong ratings and critical acclaim when it debuted on BBC Two earlier this year.
Inspired by, but otherwise unrelated to the hit film, the series saw eight celebrities to India on an experimental adventure to see if they would consider retiring to the other side of the world.
Christmas will see Miriam Margolyes, dancer Wayne Sleep, darts champion Bobby George and chef Rosemary Shrager return to BBC Two to test out different retirement communities in Florida and Japan.
The show will then move to BBC One for the second series when a new line-up visit Kochi, a city in the southwest Indian state Kerala, to test whether they can set up a more rewarding retirement than in the UK.
Made by Twofour, the series is the highest rating factual series on BBC Two this year and achieved a consolidated average of 4.1million/13.6 percent share. The show was also awarded a prestigious Rose d’Or Award.
Charlotte Moore, Director BBC Content, said: “The first series was a big hit that connected with viewers of all ages in a really authentic and heart-warming way. It was entertaining whilst brilliantly enlightening which makes it the perfect fit for BBC One.
“It celebrates a big universal subject that we all care about and I’m looking forward to watching our new cast of characters explore India and reach an ever broader audience on BBC One.”
Andrew Mackenzie, Chief Creative Officer of The Twofour Group, commented: “The Real Marigold Hotel is a success story that we’re incredibly proud of and after winning the Rose d’Or we’re delighted to be working with the BBC to grow the series.
“The Christmas specials on BBC Two see Miriam and the gang in incredibly entertaining form and we’re excited to introduce a new band of intrepid travellers to India on BBC One.”