Eight famous senior citizens will travel to India for an ambitious new travel series inspired by the BAFTA-nominated film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
The film sees a group of British pensioners retire to India, where they move into a dilapidated hotel and try to adapt to life in a new environment.
In the BBC Two series The Real Marigold Hotel, actor Miriam Margolyes, dancer Wayne Sleep, actor Sylvester McCoy, comedian Roy Walker, chef Rosemary Shrager, darts champion Bobby George, singer Patti Boulaye and former news reader Jan Leeming will spend three weeks in India.
Starting in colourful Jaipur in the north of the country, they will see whether it can offer a more rewarding retirement than is available in the UK.
They will take over a haveli – an Indian private mansion – where they will have to work together to set up a comfortable home. They will have to decide who will do the cooking and cleaning, how they will get around the city and whether they should hire staff.
“The experience was life changing, being privy to another culture so different to ours,” said Shrager. “The feeling was exhilarating, humbling, and a huge privilege to get to know some wonderful people.”
As well as setting up The Real Marigold Hotel, the celebrities will experience life in India outside the haveli awards.
They will witness the astonishing economic gap in Jaipur’s society, visiting both the city’s largest slum and Jaipur’s royal family at the stunning Rambagh Palace.
They will also attempt to learn some Hindi and get to grips with yoga.
The series, produced for Twofour, is due to air later this month on BBC Two.