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Paul O’Grady’s Great British Escape - start date and all the animals!

Paul O'Grady Great British Escape
(Image credit: ITV)

Paul O’Grady uncovers the wonders of Kent in his new ITV travelogue Paul O'Grady's Great British Escape

Travelling very far is a bit tricky at the moment so settle back for a trip around one of the UK’s most glorious areas as Paul O’Grady guides us around his adopted home county of Kent in ITV’s six-part series Paul O’Grady’s Great British Escape.

Here’s everything we know so far about Paul O’Grady's Great British Escape…

When does it air?

The series begins on ITV on Wednesday 11 November at 8pm. In the opening episode, Paul says: “I was born in a quaint little hamlet called Tranmere in Birkenhead and when I grew up I emigrated down south and had quite a good fling with London for a few years. Then I found myself down here in Kent and I’ve been here for over 20 happy years, I love the place.”

What does Paul O'Grady do in Great British Escape?

Paul O'Grady Great British Escape

Paul O'Grady flies in a Tiger Moth in Paul O'Grady's Great British Escape (Image credit: ITV)

Paul explores some of the most interesting places in Kent including grand buildings such as Hever Castle and Canterbury Cathedral. He also tries his hand at a range of local activities including hop-picking. And he even flies in a wartime Tiger Moth over the White Cliffs of Dover.

“I’ve lived here over 20 years now. I’m really fond of the place. I know at the moment it’s known for the lorry parks and asylum seeker assessment camps, but there’s more to the place than that,” says Paul. “Henry VIII coined the phrase ‘Garden of England’, and it still is. And that’s what we tried to show in the series. Kent is not about lorry parks and about Brexit. There’s a lot more to it.”

Paul O'Grady outside Hever castle

Paul O'Grady outside Hever Castle, the childhood home of Henry VIII's second wife Anne Boleyn

Does Paul O'Grady meet any animals?!

Paul O'Grady holds a huge Sea Eagle in Paul O'Grady's Great British Escapes

Paul holds a huge Sea Eagle at the UK's biggest Bird of Prey Rescue Centre, Eagle Heights in Kent

Lots! He visits a bird-of-prey sanctuary and flies eagles and barn owls, he tries out alpaca yoga, meets some cheetahs, heads out on a seal safari and coppices trees with the help of some lovable horses.

“They are huge horses,” says Paul. “They’re from Belgium and the same size as brewery dray horses, they are massive. I completely bonded with one of them called Tobias. I fell in love with him and he fell in love with me.”

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Is there a trailer for Paul O’Grady’s Great British Escape?

Alas no.

What else do we know?

Covid restrictions had an impact on filming.

“I was always getting changed behind a bush or in the back of a car,” smiles Paul. “But the hardest thing was I had to take a packed lunch. I’ve never made a packed lunch in my life!”

Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.

Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.

Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.

In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.