What kind of wild adventures could you have armed with a strict time limit and a droll celebrity? Travel Man: 48 Hours In takes the idea of a mini-break to new heights
You may know Richard Ayoade as the tech nerd from The IT Crowd, or maybe as a director of the Dostoyevsky-inspired black comedy thriller The Double, but what about as a trusted travel guide?
With a comic celebrity along for the ride, Ayoade takes his lopsided sensibilities to the cities of the world. As he explains with his voice: “This is travel without mercy.”
Imperial palaces, baroque streetscapes and a reunion with The IT Crowd buddy turned Hollywood superstar, Chris O’Dowd. The home of psycho-analysis, the sewing machine and slow-motion. “We’re here but should we have come?”
Recently voted the ‘unfriendliness city in the world’ where the children ‘are taught to not smile at school’. Awkward. And, you don’t need to take Greg Davies, star of The Inbetweeners and Man Down, to an inimical city like Moscow for him to be outrageously awkward. “I feel strangely at home,” Davies reveals. “I am Russian, in height.”
One of my dream meets would be with Rob Delaney, the star of Catastrophe. One of my dream destinations is the Wild West of spaghetti western Spain where films like Fistful of Dollars, The Big Gundown and Once Upon a Time in the West were filmed. Mesh them together and, as Richard Ayoade explains, “It’s an absolute Mecca for film buffs who misunderstand the word ‘Mecca’.”
Rob Delaney joins Aoyade on 21 December on SBS VICELAND.
The birthplace of Tiramisu, the newspaper and renowned for its renowned canals. But, explains Ayoade: “Venice has fewer canals than Birmingham but don’t give up on it just yet because Venice isn’t as rubbish as you might think.” This time he’s joined by UK comedian Jo Brand. “You know I’m not going to be very good at this,” Jo says as she wields a gondolier oar. “Don’t you dare stop believing in yourself,” Ayoade assures her. “You were born to do this.” Of course, it’s a joy to watch someone else having a bad time on holiday.
Jo Brand joins Aoyade on 26 December on SBS VICELAND
Everyone wants a piece of Dubai. The stats – 14 million tourists a year – don’t lie. And they’re not afraid to spend in the so-called ‘millionaire’s playground’. Helping Richard in this abject affront to austerity is UK comedian and self-confessed ‘skinflint’ Johnny Vegas. “I was raised on Butlins and cheap camping holidays,” he says. But Richard assures him: “This is like a fancy version of that.”
Johnny Vegas joins Aoyade on 2 January on SBS VICELAND.
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Hit the road with Richard Aoyade in Travel Man every Monday night on SBS VICELAND at 8pm.