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'Extraordinary Escapes with Sandi Toksvig' — Sandi tells us her highlights from the new series

Extraordinary Escapes with Sandi Toksvig is back for a new series on Channel 4.
'Extraordinary Escapes with Sandi Toksvig' is back for a new series on Channel 4. (Image credit: C4)

Extraordinary Escapes With Sandi Toksvig sees QI host Sandi venture all around the UK and explore some remarkable locations and unusual bolt-holes with six new travel companions.  

Sue Johnston, Sara Pascoe, Jenny Eclair, Sarah Millican, Sunetra Sarker, and Philippa Perry are each packing their bags to join the former Bake Off presenter as the second series of Extraordinary Escapes gets underway to immerse themselves in some gloriously remote getaways. 

"Our main criteria for choosing the places are; it has to be unique, a little bit far away, and architecturally fantastic," says Sandi.  

Here, in an interview with Whattowatch.com, Sandi tells us more and shares her highlights...

Which of your travel companions from this series of 'Extraordinary Escapes With Sandi Toksvig' did you know beforehand? 

Sandi Toksvig says, "I’ve known Sarah Millican, Sara Pascoe and Jenny Eclair for years. Philippa Perry and I became friends through her husband Grayson, (artist Grayson Perry), and I felt like I knew Sue Johnston because she’s been so much in our lives but I realised we’d never actually met. Sunetra was the person I knew least and I have fallen in love with her, I think she’s amazing." 

What did you enjoy most about making the series? 

"We go to amazing places but what I Iove is it’s a chance to have conversations with six fascinating women and see an unvarnished version of everyone. There is no script, no list of questions and we are very much in the moment. I think making this is the most relaxed I’ve been. I’m not normally very good at switching off."

Sandi Toksvig and Sarah Millican go to North Devon and stay at Lee Bay in Exmoor.

Sandi Toksvig and Sarah Millican go to North Devon and stay at Lee Bay in Exmoor.  (Image credit: C4)

Can you imagine ever living in one of the remote bolt-holes you visit? 

"Well my wife and I recently moved from London to the countryside and now live in the middle of an ancient woodland. We’ve seen deer, badgers, dormice and all manner of birds. All you can hear at night is owls and I’ve never been happier in my life. As soon as I’ve finished chatting to you I’ll be off out again into the woods with my saw and spade." 

Are there plans for a third series of 'Extraordinary Escapes' and who would you love to go on new adventures with?

"Yes there is. I’d love to go with Jane McDonald. I think she’d be great fun because she’s always completely herself on TV and I love that. I’d also like to go with the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern. I’m setting my sights on a wide range of people! In fact there's no end of wonderful women that I would like to travel with and there's no end of wonderful places I would like to go. I can't think of another travel program where it's just two women of a certain age having a wonderful time together. There have been lots with boys doing stuff!"

Sandi and Sarah spend time in Devon.

Sandi and Sarah Millican stay in a 16th Century Mill at Lee Bay in Exmoor.  (Image credit: C4)

Any new locations you’d particularly like to explore? 

"You can put me anywhere and I will find you something interesting. For example there’s a spot on the Old Kent Road in London where there’s a white goods store and a closed down pub. It looks terrible but it’s the very spot where Henry V was greeted by his knights when he returned from Agincourt, and then you think ‘How thrilling, this is the most marvellous place!’ "

What were some of your highlights? 

"Sara Pascoe and I stayed in a tiny remote 16th-century castle in Glenisla on the East Coast of Scotland. It's one of the smallest castles in the world and it's just amazing. And Jenny Eclair and I went to the Wye Valley. One of the houses we stayed in was flat-packed from Scandinavia at the turn of the 20th century. It was used for filming the Netflix series, Sex Education, and if I could live in any of the properties we visited it would be that one."

Extraordinary Escapes with Sandi Toksvig starts on Thursday, Feb. 17 on Channel 4.

Tess Lamacraft
Tess Lamacraft

Tess is a senior writer for What’s On TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite and WhattoWatch.com She's been writing about TV for over 25 years and worked on some of the UK’s biggest and best-selling publications including the Daily Mirror where she was assistant editor on the weekend TV magazine, The Look, and Closer magazine where she was TV editor. She has freelanced for a whole range of websites and publications including We Love TV, The Sun’s TV Mag, Woman, Woman’s Own, Fabulous, Good Living, Prima and Woman and Home.