BBC 2 : The Real Marigold On Tour
Marigold on Tour favourite Rosemary Shrager is joined by new cast members Sheila Ferguson, Paul Nicholas and Dennis Taylor, as they head off to the retirement mecca of Thailand. The group travel to the northern city of Chiang Mai, the cultural heart of the country, famous for its historic temples and laid-back way of life. Once they’ve settled into their homestay, the group venture out into the steamy 35C heat. After a grisly but enlightening shopping experience at the daily market, they tackle their first spicy Thai dish over dinner.
Their second day in Chiang Mai starts with one of Thailand’s most popular activities – t’ai-chi. Surprisingly for Sheila, who normally thrives on a fast-paced lifestyle, she loves this gentle form of exercise. In Thailand, local retirees all over the country can attend free schools once a week, so the four famous faces head back to class. The group must tackle some unusual lessons but realise you’re never too old to learn new skills.
Their first meal dining out is also an eye-opener. Paul struggles with the spicy food but opens up about his youth. Sheila and Rosemary are keen to explore Buddhist meditation, but the two chatterboxes must cope with a silent retreat. Paul and Dennis try some traditional Thai medicine. One treatment, known locally as the hot pot, involves burning herbs on the stomach. Dennis, Paul and Sheila look into buying an apartment, whilst Rosemary takes advantage of some cheap dental work – teeth whitening.
To mark the end of their time in the city, the group decide to take in a show. Thailand’s ladyboys are amongst the country’s most popular entertainers, and are joined on stage by Paul and Dennis.