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Joanna Lumley’s Great Cities of the World — locations, air date, new clips and everything you need to know

Joanna Lumley's Great Cities of the World.
Joanna Lumley's Great Cities of the World. (Image credit: ITV )

Joanna Lumley's Great Cities of the World sees Dame Joanna Lumley venture to three amazing cities. 

She'll be showcasing famous landmarks, meeting the locals and chatting to interesting residents to get beneath the skin of each city.

Joanna says, "For people who've never been it will be an exciting introduction to these cities and for people who have, it will be a lovely opening of a secret cupboard door, looking into different and unseen parts."

We spoke to Joanna to find out everything you need to know...

Joanna Lumley’s Great Cities of the World release date

Joanna Lumley’s Great Cities of the World airs Thursday, March 17 2022 at 9pm on ITV. The series is three parts and will air on consecutive Thursdays. 

Which cities does Joanna visit in Joanna Lumley’s Great Cities of the World?

Joanna will be visiting Paris, Rome and Berlin. Talking about the choice of locations she says, "We all rubbed our chins and thought we could do these three to start with and see how people like them. They are quite easy to get to and there's the added advantage that I can speak fragments of their languages."

Which city does Joanna visit in episode one of Joanna Lumley's Great Cities of the World? 

First stop is Paris. Joanna arrives in the city by hot air balloon to get a spectacular bird's eye view. She says, "I was terrified. I once went up in a balloon and said, 'Never again!' The team cajoled me. It was actually thrilling to see Paris from the air. You notice where the river goes and see where all the landmarks are in relation to each other."

Notre Dame in Paris in Joanna Lumley's Great Cities of the World.

Joanna Lumley goes to Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris to see how it is being rebuilt and restored.  (Image credit: ITV )

Which locations does Joanna explore in Paris? And who does she meet? 

Joanna visits the city's famous cathedral, Notre-Dame, which has been closed to the public ever since it was ravaged by a terrible fire in 2019. 

Joanna says, "I was shown around by architect Phillipe Villeneuve who has been obsessed with Notre-Dame's mediaeval architecture since he was a little boy. President Macron promises the cathedral will be back on the world's stage in time for the 2024 Paris Olympics and it can't come a moment too soon."

Joanna Lumley with Moulin Rouge dancers in Joanna Lumley's Great Cities of the World.

Joanna goes backstage to meet the dancers at Paris's famous club the Moulin Rouge.  (Image credit: ITV )

During her explorations of Paris she also meets refugees learning to become bee-keepers, takes to the streets to join a women's right protest and goes behind the scenes of the city's most famous club, the Moulin Rouge.

Joanna says, "I loved going backstage and meeting the dancers at the Moulin Rouge. They were eight feet tall with their high heels and headdresses and jolly little else on. There were lots of bottoms and bosoms. They're all fit as fleas and showed me how they can do the flying splits and the cancan."

With women's rights protestors in Paris for Joanna Lumley's Great Cities of the World

Joanna joins a group of women's rights protestors on the streets of Paris.  (Image credit: ITV )

Below is a brand new clip that shows Joanna on her adventures in Paris... 

What does Joanna get up to in Rome in episode two?

As well as visiting the famous landmarks of The Colosseum, The Pantheon and Trevi Fountain, Joanna meets some well-known city dwellers including, paparazzo photographer, Umberto Pizzi. 

Umberto shares his stories of his encounters with many famous faces including Mick Jagger and Audrey Hepburn. She also has a masterclass in pizza-making and an exclusive tour of the Sistine Chapel.

"I was allowed to go in very early in the morning at 5am and was taken round by the gatekeeper", says Joanna. "To be there inside, in a place that is usually filled with people, was just thrilling."

Trevi Fountain in Rome in Joanna Lumley's Great Cities of the World.

Rome's Trevi Fountain is one the landmarks Joanna visits.  (Image credit: ITV )

What adventures does Joanna have in Berlin in episode three? 

Among the people Joanna meets in Berlin are holocaust survivor, Margot Friedländer, who is 100 years old. "Meeting Margot and hearing first-hand about what she had experienced and saw was overwhelmingly touching. I can't talk about it without crying," says Joanna. 

Joanna also explores the city by hopping on the back of a motorbike to join Berlin's all-female motorcycle club, The Curves. 

Later she heads to Old Texas Town, a replica of a western town where she hangs out with group of cowgirls and cowboys. She also meets an extraordinary hat-maker and  investigates Berlin's renowned nightlife.

Holocaust survivor Margot Friedlander in Joanna Lumley's Great Cities of the World.

Holocaust survivor Margot Friedlander. (Image credit: ITV )

Is there a trailer for Joanna Lumley’s Great Cities of the World?

There is! The trailer shows Joanna experiencing everything that Paris, Berlin and Rome have to offer, including meeting the locals, sampling the cuisine and visiting famous landmarks as she discovers the 'true essence' of each city... 

Joanna was made a Dame in this years New Year Honours list. What does she say about that? 

"I got the letter in December and my husband (conductor Stephen Barlow) was away. When I opened it, I'm ashamed to say I burst into tears. It was such a shock but I was just utterly thrilled. It does make me feel a bit humble because you look at the other people who are Dames and you think, 'Well, I'm not up to that standard.' Twiggy sent me a lovely message and said all us Dames should get together. And the first bunch of flowers. I got was from Dame Judi Dench."

Joanna Lumley's Great Cities of The World airs Thursday, March 17 2022 at 9pm on ITV. 

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.