An Idiot Abroad (Sky 1, 2010)[In the Taj Mahal] "This is where Diana had her photo taken when she was having her problems with Charlie. Everyone said this is why she looked so miserable, but to be honest I think she was just sick of being in India.”
When I listened to Ricky Gervais' old XFM radio show, I was mainly finding other work that Ricky Gervais had done. My first surprise was how much funny always co-writer Stephen Merchant was. But my real surprise came when I was introduced to their producer, Karl Pilkington, who turned out to be a down to earth, every day man, with a unique and honest view of the world. Who was very gullible and said a lot of stupid things, that made Ricky and Stephen mock and laugh at him. It was a brilliant mix of three different comical personalies.
After all the years of Ricky standing behind Karl, we finally have him on the screen, with his TV Show, "An Idiot Abroad", where Karl is send to the 7 wonders of the world. Stephen says that he believes travel broadens the mind, Ricky says his reason for sending him is because he knows Karl will hate it. It's his most expensive practical joke.
As Karl visits each city, he follows the plan that Ricky and Stephen have set up for him, with people to meet and places to visit, before ending with visiting the wonder in that particular city. Karl's reactions are funny, discomfort combined with confused, but to me, there is something else about Karl's visit that makes the show more than just a funny fish-out-of-water comedy. Karl's reactions are brutally honest. When we travel to places we feel are important, it is difficult to not say how impressive they are, even if we might not be that impressed by it. Stick a camera in front of our face, and we certainly do not want to ever say that visiting a wonder is not that big of a deal. But Karl does. If he isn't impressed by something, he says it. For example, for the most part, he is not impressed by the Great Wall of China (he calls it the Alright Wall of China), with a great observation. It seems most of the wall has been reconstructed, so most of it isn't even that old. So, it is just a newly built wall. He's right, how is that really that impressive?"A lot of people say they go to India to find themselves. But what happens if I change, and go home and I'm all different? Suzanne's going "what's wrong with you?" and then she doesn't like the new me that I've found. And then I start to hate myself because I'm not the person I thought I was. I know who I am. Bloody hell I'm getting bills for Karl Pilkington left right and centre so I hope I'm him, 'cuz if I'm not I'm paying for someone else."