Fasten your seatbelts! Following a fun-filled Christmas special in 2019, Bradley Walsh and Holly Willoughby are back on BBC1 to give some lucky contestants the chance to win the trip of a lifetime in a full series of Take Off with Bradley & Holly. And, for this first show, contestants are playing to jet off to Los Angeles and, the home of Elvis, Las Vegas!
Expect lots of fun and frolics as players from the studio audience tackle travel-themed games such as Guesstination, Passport Pick-up, and Final Call to win a seat on the coveted Take Off plane.
As well as lots of humour, there are heartfelt moments, too, as Bradley and Holly reserve one seat for a Priority Boarder, a special guest who deserves a well-earned holiday.
We chatted to Bradley, 61, and Holly, 40, about making dreams come true and where they’d most like to take off to…
How much fun did you two have making this show?
Holly: "After the Christmas special, this series was the last thing we filmed before all the restrictions came in last year, so it was like our big, final ‘Hurrah’ before the wheels fell off the world. The ultimate prize on any game show is to win a holiday and Take Off is focused on doing just that. We’ve all realised how important holidays are, to have that feeling of escapism. So this show is even more important now than it was back then."
Bradley: "I always love working with Holly. We’ve been friends a long time and we had such a laugh working together on this show because Holly’s like a naughty schoolgirl. She takes the Mickey out of me and treats me like a mad old uncle!"
Holly: "Bradley really makes me giggle a lot on Take Off because he's just so silly."
Holly, is it difficult to rein Bradley in sometimes?
Holly: "Yes, it's really hard. I actually wish he came with a mute button, that would make my life so much easier. Of course, I’m just kidding. In all honesty, I like the excitement of not knowing what he’s gonna do. He's always messing around. If there's a joke to be had, he’ll find it."
Bradley: "I used to drive Holly absolutely nuts when we worked together on [ITV football game show] Play to the Whistle and I've not changed. I love doing things to throw a spanner in the works!"
The first game is called Guesstination, where players have to guess holiday destinations from a series of clues that appear on a conveyor belt. Holly, how did you find tackling the conveyor belt in heels?
Holly: "Oh, I’m like a gazelle in heels. When I host Dancing on Ice, for example, I often have to get round the rink in about 20 seconds, so I could take on Usain Bolt in my heels I reckon. A moving conveyor belt was a challenge but I think I mastered it pretty well. Bradley had been hogging the whole thing and I thought: ‘I'd quite like a go on that. That looks fun.’ What’s great about this show is it’s got a really lovely balance between people having a laugh but then it’s got real heart as we hear some truly inspirational stories."
You're referring to the 'Priority Boarder' round, aren’t you?
Holly: "That’s right. Most of our players have to do challenges to earn their seat on the plane but, every week, we also give away a guaranteed seat to a deserving person who’s done something inspirational and brilliant. In the first show we meet Jill, who runs the Feel Good Project, a hair salon in Scotland for women going through cancer treatment. By the end of that segment, both Bradley and I are sat on the sofa with tears in our eyes. I cry at everything but it turns out Bradley’s a little softie, too!"
How would you compare Take Off to other game shows?
Holly: "It’s got a bit of everything. It's got all the fun and jeopardy of who’ll win the holidays and it’s got a heart with our Priority Border. It’s a real old-school family entertainment show."
Bradley: "It’s got music in it, too. I sing with Elvis in the first episode — you gotta love Vegas, haven’t you? — and I have lots of fun with a mariachi band later in the series [later destinations include St Lucia, Mexico, and safari in South Africa]. I’m not singing in every episode, though. I don't want to put everyone off!"
Where would you both most like to Take Off on holiday to?
Holly: "Right now, I'd take off to ANYWHERE! A Maldives beach holiday would be amazing, because that’s so far removed from the city living that a lot of us have been doing for so long. To properly shut down and step into a warm ocean would be wonderful. If I could push a button and go anywhere right now, that’s where I'd go."
Bradley: "Where would I go? Probably round to Holly and her husband Dan's house when they're away on holiday in the Maldives to drive them mad. I’d rearrange all their furniture and paint their house a different colour. I’d wreck the place!"
Is Take Off the kind of show we all need right now?
Bradley: "Oh, 100 per cent!"
Holly: "Yeah, I think so. The idea of going on holiday is more exciting than ever now and I don’t think we’ll ever take that feeling of getting away for granted again. I miss the smell of the airport, I miss the smell of aviation fuel. I know, we’re not quite there yet but I do feel like this show is the runway to going on holiday."
Bradley: "The fact we're sending families and friends away on holiday is brilliant; people really need this right now. It's been such a tough time for everyone. We might talk about jetting off somewhere but some people have struggled to even get to the seaside. I really hope this show brings people a little bit of joy."
Take Off with Bradley & Holly starts on Saturday 24 July at 6pm on BBC1 (see our TV Guide for full listings).
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