I recently discovered An idiot abroad. The complete series 1 & 2. Created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the show stars Karl Pilkington, your average Englishman. I absolutely hate The Office and am not a fan of Ricky either but I couldn’t stop watching Karl on his adventures.

The idea is to take a regular bloke, not particularly fond of change and travel, and make him discover new cultures and countries. While Stephen Merchant wants to do it to broaden Karl’s mind, Ricky Gervais is straightforward from the beginning: “I want him to hate every minute of it for my own amusement.”

Karl is hilarious. He just speaks his mind and does not care about the consequences.

Chicken, why is it orange in Chinatown? Just the slightest thing, the chicken is orange. They eat anything. You know what I mean? Octopus. Toad.

-Karl Pilkington

This is what a travel show should be. It’s not sugar coated and it’s not like any show that has come before.  Karl does not stick to touristic places and he’s not put in nice hotels. He actually interacts with the locals. His views reflects the reality of things and he dares to say what the rest of us are thinking most of the time.

…a little tornado innit. You don’t see that in the brochure. Shitty old nappy whizzing through the air. They tend to leave that out.

-Karl Pilkington


Some people are questioning whether or not it is real. I’ll say: Who cares?? It’s one of the best travel shows ever made. I was crying with laughter. Karl is simply funny. He moans constantly. All he wants to do is drink tea at home with biscuits and he is forced into all those impossible situations. The fact that he doesn’t know what is going to happen most of the times adds to the laughter.

We just put a camera in his face like The Truman Show, for hundreds of hours, and then we just edited down the most interesting and funny bits.

-Ricky Gervais