Sony BBC Earth’s ‘Couch Travel Anthology’ with Simon Reeve, Sue Perkins and Romesh Ranganathan brings home the world


“I’m indulging in a bit of fantasy travel and documenting my photographs at the moment,” says Simon Reeve over telephone from London the place he’s in lockdown. “It’s difficult to say how travel will play out post-pandemic,” he provides.

But till the world opens up once more to the wanderer, Reeve, British writer of books on worldwide terrorism, historical past and travelogues, and two different presenters will give us unique locations to find from the security of our properties.

Sony BBC Earth’s Couch Travel Anthology will take viewers to well-known and not-so-known international locations throughout the globe and transcend the tropes of comfortable vacationer websites to find the mystique of those locations.

The journeyman

This is nothing out of the unusual for Reeve, 48, who has made a profession travelling to harmful locations. He has discovered himself folding his 6’3” body into the again of a gun-mounted open truck whereas insurgent gangs challenged one another on the war-torn streets of Mogadishu, hunted with the bushmen of the Kalahari, cried at the sight of Rohingya camps, ziplined into Myanmar from Manipur, and roamed the forgotten citadels of Central Asia. He has visited practically 130 international locations, made 22 journey programmes for tv, authored three best-sellers amongst his many books, and obtained a One World Broadcasting Trust award and the Ness Award in 2012 from the Royal Geographic Society.

Alongside Reeve, who will current Russia, Turkey, the Caribbean, Cuba, Colombia, Cuba and Myanmar, Couch Travel Anthology additionally has British comic and actor Sue Perkins(Japan), and stand-up comic-actor Romesh Ranganathan(journey misadventures).

Doing it his means

  • Simon Reeve, who didn’t come from privilege, spent his childhood holidays in Dorset and travelled overseas solely in his late teenagers. He labored odd jobs at supermarkets and charity retailers, researching when he had the probability. While he labored at the publish room of The Sunday Times, he caught the eye of the then editor who moved him to the newsroom. Reeve has by no means regarded again since, honing his schooling to grow to be an skilled on terrorism with his first e book The New Jackals on the al-Qaeda, years earlier than they turned identified throughout the world. Post-9/11, he labored as a TV analyst and made his debut with BBC’s Holidays in the Danger Zone in 2003. He continues to current locations which have fallen off the map, with an unrelenting enthusiasm to showcase lesser-known details.

“For Couch Travel Anthology I selected a few of the international locations, the producer selected others. It contains an unbelievable number of locations,” says Reeve. Travelling with a cameraman, producer, director and an area information, Reeve admits that it typically takes three weeks to movie an hour of tv. “It takes longer if I need to strike a rapport. That’s where local guides or fixers help. They sort out permits, translate and help curate the travel; they enrich your experience,” he says.

Reeve admits that travelling to current unknown aspects of a rustic takes many visits and a watch for experiences that fall via the gaps. “Travellers like to tick off how many countries they have been to. But you could go to places like India or Brazil 20 times and still find new experiences. I’ve been to India nine times and found dramatically different stories, and not in just terms of geography or culture. Finding extraordinary human beings is the real beauty of travelling. There are seven billion people on the planet and all their stories can be beautiful,” he provides.

The check-list

To decipher the focus of the collection entails loads of analysis. “We do loads of it,” says Reeve. “You can turn up in a place and enjoy the experience but it’s not the same when you are filming a series. There is a joy when you prepare in advance, in reading up; you savour the place. We talk to our guides and plan what you may be allowed to film and who will be in it. Sometimes, the filming is spontaneous. You see something and stop; the schedules are not set in concrete.”

For the collection shot in Myanmar, Reeve says he was on the transfer every single day. “It took us a month to cover Burma, moving across Malawmyine, Yangon, Naypyitaw, Bagan, Mandalay and the Shan state. Travelling around the Caribbean was action-packed with incredible beaches that hide the harsh reality of these places,” he says.

Reeve provides that travelling allows him to see the world in shades of sunshine and darkish. “Writing doesn’t come easy to me, I’ve had to shed sweat and blood for my books,” he says. “I have had an incredible education through travel. I love my job but I’m away for five months a year. I miss my nine-year-old son then. One day I hope to be able to stand on a hill and share the view with him.”

Couch Travel Anthology is on SONY BBC Earth on July 13 at 10pm

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