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Rutland couple to take on reality TV ‘adventure of a lifetime’

A retired couple from Rutland are on a quest to prove that wisdom, perspective and maturity is the winning formula as they take part in the BBC’s ‘Race Across the World.’

Stephen and Viv are taking part in the latest series of the hit show, which will see them trek 15,000 kilometres across Eastern Asia in a race against four other intrepid couples.

Leicester Time: Rutland couple to take on reality TV 'adventure of a lifetime'
Picture: BBC

The competitors are unable to travel with phones and credit cards and without using air travel, relying on their ground skills as they must keep within a budget.

The first couple to reach the finish line, in Lombok – an idyllic Indonesian island paradise, will win the £20k prize pot.

Speaking about their reasons for applying for the beloved reality show, Stephen, 61, said: “We’d watched the series on TV and we just thought we wanted to have a go. The opportunity – the sense of adventure and the fun is something which appealed.

“We’re not really passive people. We have an active lifestyle. While we’re not fit people, we’re active people. We like sports, we play tennis and we go bowling every week.”

“We’re a bit gung-ho and we don’t sort of sit back and think “no, I don’t think we can do that,” added Viv, 65.

“We’re also quite competitive!”

As part of the challenge, the couple will have to cross six seas and eight borders, mucking in with jobs and relying on the kindness of strangers along the way. They will be required to push themselves to physical and mental limits as they travel between two destinations with as little as possible.

 Asked about their chances of winning, Stephen said: “We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t want to win it. But it doesn’t matter either, we’ve seen the show, the success the failures and the taking part. We want to finish, to finish is important to us, we’d just be embarrassed to go home early, the kids would never live it down, it would just be awful, they’d just mock us mercilessly. Yes, of course we want to win, who wouldn’t. We’ll just do everything we can, within the rules, to make that happen.”

The BBC show debuted in 2019, with the five teams being tasked with travelling from London to Singapore. A second and third series followed in 2020 and 2023 respectively, showcasing journeys from Mexico to Argentina and Vancouver to Newfoundland in Canada.

The fourth series returns to BBC One on Wednesday, April 10 at 9pm.