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View tube: 2017 TV round up

It has been rich pickings in TV land over recent months for travel inspiration. Inspiring bookings and extending those bucket list trips, full credit goes to the BBC, who came up with our favourites.

It was impossible not to be blown away by Blue Planet II.

Twenty years ago, filmmakers from the BBC’s Natural History Unit (NHU) set out to make a series on the world’s oceans. Broadcast in 2001, the multi award-winning Blue Planet, presented by Sir David Attenborough, cemented the Unit’s peerless reputation for underwater filming.

A generation on, the NHU returned to these underwater worlds for the second time, with even more ambitious filming and a fresh cast of extraordinary aquatic animals. They spent four years filming off the shores of every continent to immerse us in some of the most expansive but least-known parts of our planet. Details on locations and missed episodes can be found here, with the DVD box set available from mid-January.

After her epic, personal and emotional journey to the source of India’s Ganges river and nicely timed to coincide with our own showcasing of Indochina, the always lovely Sue Perkins took us on a wonderful 3,000 mile journey along the Mekong River, giving a fantastic insight into communities in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and China.

China was also the location for the opening episode of Real Marigold on Tour, which saw celebrities Miriam Margolyes, Wayne Sleep, Rosemary Shrager and Bobby George reunited for another global adventure.

The group stayed in the capital of the Sichuan Province, Chengdu, where our very own Hollie reported from last year. It was fascinating to watch them struggle with the language barrier and regional cuisine.

Subsequent engrossing episodes saw Jan Leeming join the group in Havana, new cast members Dennis Taylor and Paul Nicholas sing with an all-male choir in an Icelandic canyon, an emotional whale-watching experience and the group experience the wonderful northern city of Chiang Mai, the cultural heart of Thailand.

We also enjoyed Rick Stein’s jaunt down the US west coast to Mexico, refreshing his taste buds on a journey he first made in 1968, which transformed the way he thought about food. In a mix of culinary and travel experiences, Rick documented the food and culture from San Francisco to Oaxaca in Mexico.

We are always on the lookout for inspiration and travel documentaries are a great source. We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings to our screens.

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