'Write Around the World with Richard E. Grant' — release date, locations, trailer and all you need to know

Richard E Grant reading 'Pompeii' in Pompeii.
Write Around the World with Richard E. Grant sees the actor reading iconic books, such as Robert Harris' Pompeii. (Image credit: BBC/Storyvault Films)

Write Around the World with Richard E. Grant sees well-loved British actor Richard E. Grant (Withnail and I, Game of Thrones, Loki) following in the footsteps of great authors to different parts of the globe, engaging in the fascinating and remarkable cultures and landscapes that inspired classic books, as well as enchanted their readers.

Reading key passages from the books as he goes along, Richard learns a wealth of knowledge into the unique lives and experiences of the authors. As well as awareness into the country’s captivating culture, landscapes and history and the diverse people who live in the region. He also uncovers examples where books have had an impact on the area’s success.

Here's everything you need to know about the new documentary series...

Write Around the World with Richard E. Grant release date

Write Around the World with Richard E. Grant will be on BBC4 on Tuesday 3 August at 9pm. It will also be available to watch on BBC iPlayer.  

Where does Richard go in Write Around the World with Richard E. Grant?

Book and travel lover Richard begins his adventure in Southern Italy, starting in one of the oldest cities in the world, Naples. He explores how its rich traditions and tempestuous history, including its energetic street life and its deteriorating palazzi served as inspiration to great writers such as Charles Dickens, Elena Ferrante, Elizabeth Gilbert and Norman Lewis.

Having climbed Mount Vesuvius, Richard visits the remains of the famous city of Pompeii, which was destroyed by the volcano in 79AD. Informed by the book Pompeii by Robert Harris, Richard explores the remnants of the once flourishing Roman town.

Richard also stops by in the stylish village of Positano on the Amalfi coastline. He stays at the hotel where American crime writer Patricia Highsmith visited in 1952 after her turbulent trip through Europe with her girlfriend Ellen Blumenthal Hill. It was here, where she was inspired to create the iconic character, Tom Ripley as she watched  "a solitary young man in shorts and sandals with a towel flung over his shoulder, making his way along the beach.”

Richard’s final stop is the city of Matera in the Basilicata region, now a Unesco world heritage site, and was considered ‘the shame of Italy’ just 80 years ago. He investigates how the city’s fortunes were altered by Carlo Levi’s book, Christ Stopped At Eboli.

Other episodes see him travel to Southern France and Spain.

Is there a trailer?

Yes! In the trailer below, we’re greeted with stunning historical landscapes and buildings across the world in Italy, France and Spain. Richard begins the trailer with, “Part of the joy in following the writer’s footsteps is that they lead you to places most tourists wouldn’t go.” He ends the trailer with a beaming smile, ecstatically saying “I absolutely loved it!” really demonstrating his excitement and passion for books and travelling alike. 

Grace Morris
Staff Writer

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides, recaps and features for must-watch shows and delivers all the latest soap news and reactions. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.

You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series or much-loved UK soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). She's an expert in EastEnders, Emmerdale, Coronation Street and everything reality-related from Selling Sunset and Married At First Sight UK to 90 Day Fiancé UK. Plus Netflix megahit Virgin River!

Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.