Iceland with Alexander Armstrong sees the Pointless presenter, actor and comedian exploring the Land of Fire and Ice for his new Channel 5 travelogue. The three-part series was an unforgettable experience for Alexander as it followed him on a 1,000-mile tour of the group of islands in the North Atlantic that make up Iceland, famous for their erupting volcanoes and breathtakingly beautiful glaciers.
Here, Alexander Armstrong gives a guide to the series, revealing how he searched for elves, met some Eurovision legends, risked his life volcano-spotting and enjoyed partying in Iceland's capital city, Reykjavik....
'Iceland with Alexander Armstrong' release date
Iceland with Alexander Armstrong launches on Channel 5 from Wednesday Oct. 6 at 9pm. It will also appear on streaming service My5 after each episode airs. If the documentary series later goes on to BritBox we will be sure to update with the Alexander Armstrong in Iceland release date.
Alexander Armstrong on what inspired him to have this adventure in Iceland
Alexander says: “I knew very little about it other than it’s home to volcanoes, Norse Gods, and some of the most expensive beer in the world! But it’s a place quite unlike anywhere I’ve ever been. It’s beautiful and dramatic, and it also feels otherworldly. I loved it!”
Alexander on seeing a volcano erupting…
Alexander says: “Iceland is always in the middle of some geological meltdown – there are around 130 volcanoes in a country less than half the size of the UK – and I arrived during its latest angry outburst. Talk about landing with a bang! The Fagradals Mountain volcano had been dormant for the previous 6,000 years but burst into life in March, and it was extraordinary – the splashing lava looked like animation or CGI! It’s funny how we’re drawn to the most lethal things. I mean that volcano was not only just furiously bubbling with molten rock but there was also sulphur dioxide pouring out of it. If the wind had changed at any moment we would all have had to leap to get out our gas masks. You don’t muck about with that. It was unarguably powerful, but it was still the most bizarre and beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”
Alexander on visiting geothermal lagoons and geysers…
Alexander says: “Bathing in a geothermal lagoon was blissful. It’s a bit like a pub in a bath! So much of Iceland is powered by geothermal springs. Rather than cower in the face of Mother Nature, Icelanders use what she has to offer and the whole place runs on heat that comes from the Earth’s core. Iceland’s Great Geysir was also something I’d always wanted to see. After Reykjavik it’s the most visited tourist attraction in the whole country. I mean, who needs palaces, cathedrals and museums? It’s quite extraordinary. It spouts up to a height of 90 feet every seven minutes. I’ll remember it forever.”
Alexander on meeting a woman who claims she can talk to elves…
Alexander says: “Yes, she says she can even see elves and is a conduit between two worlds, the visible and the invisible. It’s extraordinary. Icelanders have some wonderfully bizarre belief systems. A survey found 55 percent of Icelanders believe in elves and fairies, the so-called hidden folk. I was actually totally persuaded by what she said! And there’s me thinking Iceland would be all volcanoes and geysers!”
What other memories standout from Alexander’s trip
Alexander says: “Icelanders love their music. They’re obsessed with Eurovision and I got to meet Iceland’s Eurovision 2019 act Hatari. They’re not exactly Bucks Fizz, but they were actually really nice boys! In Reykjavik, I rounded things off by letting my hair down. But the thing that was completely new to me was the issue of daylight. It was so bright outside at midnight it felt more like mid-afternoon. Reykjavik is the city that never sleeps mainly because it never gets dark!”
Iceland With Alexander Armstrong — episode guide
Iceland With Alexander Armstrong: Episode 1 — Wednesday Oct. 6, Channel 5, 9pm
Alexander begins his epic Icelandic adventure in a helicopter, hovering just yards above the rim of an erupting volcano gushing out 1200-degree lava, before visiting the Great Geysir and eating a unique lunch of boiled eggs and baked bread cooked in the volcanic water of a nearby lake. After meeting a lady who can see and talk to elves, Alexander heads to Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, where he meets Eurovision 2019 entrants Hatari and samples the nightlife.
Iceland with Alexander Armstrong: Episode 2 — Wednesday Oct. 13, Channel 5, 9pm
There’s rotten shark on the menu as Alexander travels to the northern port of Husavik. Icelanders consider it a delicacy, although it’s regularly cited as one of the world’s most disgusting dishes. After washing down the meal with a shot of local firewater (appropriately called Black Death), Alexander enjoys various traditional pursuits, including whale watching, playing all-night golf as there's daylight at midnight (see below). Xander will also be riding a pure-bred Icelandic horse like a Viking and relaxing in a steaming bath full of beer.
Iceland With Alexander Armstrong: Episode 3 — Wednesday Oct. 20, Channel 5, 9pm
Alexander leaves the boiling mud and lava flows of the north behind and travels to the more gentle south for some snowmobile lessons and lunch of lobster on top of Europe’s biggest glacier. He also travels to the island Heimaey, Iceland’s answer to Pompeii, which was almost destroyed by a volcano in 1973. Many houses were buried, but all 5,000 residents managed to escape in a miraculous evacuation. Meanwhile, there are some more local delicacies to try, including birds eggs and sheep’s eyes, and a visit to a stunning but notoriously dangerous beach that lies just in the shadow of the giant volcano Katla, due to erupt any day….
I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.
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