Race Across the World

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Race Across the World
Race across the world title card.jpg
GenreReality competition
Directed byRob Fisher
Narrated byJohn Hannah
Theme music composerMichael Burns
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes6 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)Mark Saben
Tim Harcourt
Stephen Lambert
Producer(s)Brent Gunderson
Zoe Hines
Georgina Kiedrowski
Eddie Lewis
Alex Reynolds
Editor(s)Stephen Day
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)Studio Lambert
Original networkBBC Two (regular)
BBC One (celebrity)
Picture format16:9
Audio formatStereo
Original release3 March 2019 (2019-03-03) –
External links
Race Across the World
Studio Lambert

Race Across the World is a British television competition programme, in which teams of two race across an area of the world to be the fastest to reach their destination.[1] The programme is broadcast on BBC Two and narrated by John Hannah.[2] The first series, consisting of six episodes, was aired from 3 March to 7 April 2019. On 9 July 2019, BBC confirmed that a second and third series has been commissioned for BBC Two.[3] It was later announced on 3 October 2019 that a celebrity spin-off series would be aired on BBC One.[4]


The programme follows pairs of competitors racing around the world to be the first to reach their destination, starting from London and finishing in Singapore. The competitors cannot fly but were each given an amount of money equivalent to a one-way plane ticket to their final destination of £1,329, which they can use to travel by land or sea. The money pays for all the cost of the travel including food and accommodation, but they may work to earn money along the way. The competitors may not have any mobile electronic devices or credit card at the start of the race, but were given a world map, a GPS device to track their progress, a travel guide with local job adverts, in addition to the money. In every episode, the teams were given a checkpoint they had to reach. One team may be eliminated if they come last at a pre-determined checkpoint. At each checkpoint, the racers were given a 36-hour break. The first team to reach Singapore win a cash prize of £20,000.[2]


Before the race, two assistant producers conducted a recce research trip to assess the feasibility of such a journey within the budget constrain. All likely bus and train journeys were assessed beforehand. Visas were applied for the countries along all possible routes before the race as well as any necessary vaccinations for these countries.[2] Each team had two film crew members, although all decisions were made by the racers. A director of photography travelled behind the teams for additional location filming; there were safety advisers in some locations and medical support vehicle also travelled an hour behind the team in some countries.[5] The programme was commissioned by David Brindley and Michael Jochnowitz for BBC 2.[2]

Series 1 (2019)[edit]


The first series featured five pairs of competitors at the start of the race: Natalie and Shameema, Jinda and Bindu, Darron and Alex, Josh and Felix, and Sue and Clare.[6] Jinda and Bindu withdrew due to family illness in the first episode, and were replaced by Elaine and Tony. Sue and Clare were eliminated when they finished last in Baku.[7] Retired PE teachers Tony and Elaine Teasdale were the first to reach the final checkpoint in Singapore, and were crowned the winners.[8]

Name[9] Relationship[9] Occupation[9] Age[9] From[9]
Darron Father & son Business Systems Specialist 48 Bradford
Alex Unemployed 20
Elaine Grandparents Retired PE teachers 61 North Yorkshire
Tony 61
Josh Business partners Co-owners of arts venue 32 London
Felix 32
Natalie Childhood friends Freelance Legal/Artist Liaison Manager 38 London
Shameema Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist 38 Manchester
Sue Lifelong friends Three Menopausal Maids Comedy Trio 57 Bishop's Stortford
Clare Marketing and Holiday Lettings Agent 58 Leeds
Jinda Married parents Co-owner of small retail chain 46 Nottingham
Bindu 48

Results summary[edit]

Colour key:

     – Team withdrawn
     – Team eliminated
     – Series winners
Teams Position (by leg)
1 2 3 4 5 6
Elaine & Tony 5th 1st 2nd 4th 1st 1st
Darron & Alex 2nd 4th 1st 1st 1st 2nd
Natalie & Shameema 3rd 2nd 4th 3rd 3rd 3rd
Josh & Felix 1st 3rd 3rd 2nd 3rd 4th
Sue & Clare 4th 5th
Jinda & Bindu N/A


The checkpoints in the first series are:

Leg From To
1[10] Old Royal Naval College
London, United Kingdom
Amalia Hotel
Delphi, Greece
2[11] Amalia Hotel
Delphi, Greece
The Flame Towers
Baku, Azerbaijan
3[12] The Flame Towers
Baku, Azerbaijan
Hotel Uzbekistan
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
4[13] Hotel Uzbekistan
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Long Inn Hotel
Huangyao, China
5[14] Long Inn Hotel
Huangyao, China
Koh Rong, Cambodia
6[15] Koh Rong, Cambodia Marina Bay Sands
Marina Bay, Singapore

Race summary[edit]

Mode of transportation Icon train.svg Rail   RWBA Fähre(R).svg Ship   RWBA Bus.svg Bus/coach   Taxi Icon.png Taxi   Car - The Noun Project.svg Private car
Activity Font Awesome 5 solid pound-sign.svg Working for money and/or bed and board   High-contrast-camera-photo.svg Excursion that cost time and money

Leg 1: London → Delphi[edit]

The race started from Old Royal Naval College in London, finishing the first leg at the Amalia Hotel in Delphi, Greece. During the race, Jinda & Bindu received news of a family illness, and decided to withdraw from the race in Aachen. They were replaced by Elaine & Tony, who continued on the same route planned by Jinda & Bindu.

Josh & Felix worked in a farm outside Munich and gained a significant increase in cash. Natalie & Shameema also worked in Lyon, but earned less. Both Josh & Felix and Darron & Alex took the land route through the Balkans to reach Greece, while the other three teams took a ferry from different ports in Italy.

Josh & Felix, with an increase in funds from their work, took a fast train to Budapest. They reached Greece by bus, and took advantage of a fellow passengers knowledge, changed bus at an unscheduled stop before it reached Athens to get to Delphi first. The other teams that went across the sea all arrived later.

Order Teams Route Hours behind leaders Money left
1 Josh & Felix Icon train.svgDover RWBA Fähre(R).svgCalais Icon train.svgLille RWBA Bus.svgMunich Font Awesome 5 solid pound-sign.svg Icon train.svgBudapest RWBA Bus.svgRWBA Bus.svgDelphi N/A 82%
2 Darron & Alex RWBA Bus.svgDüsseldorf RWBA Bus.svgBudapest Icon train.svgBelgrade RWBA Bus.svgSkopje Taxi Icon.pngThessaloniki RWBA Bus.svgDelphi 4 73%
3 Natalie & Shameema Car - The Noun Project.svgRochester Icon train.svgDover RWBA Fähre(R).svgCalais Icon train.svgLille RWBA Bus.svgLyon Font Awesome 5 solid pound-sign.svgBrindisi RWBA Fähre(R).svgIgoumenitsa Taxi Icon.pngDelphi 11 72%
4 Sue & Clare Icon train.svgAshfordIcon train.svgDover RWBA Fähre(R).svgCalais Icon train.svgLille RWBA Bus.svgParis RWBA Bus.svgMilan Icon train.svgVenice RWBA Fähre(R).svgPatrasDelphi 24
5 Elaine & Tony → → RWBA Bus.svgMilan Icon train.svgBari RWBA Fähre(R).svg → → Delphi
N/A Jinda & Bindu Taxi Icon.pngDover RWBA Fähre(R).svgCalais Icon train.svgLille RWBA Bus.svgAachen N/A N/A

Leg 2: Delphi → Baku[edit]

As they came last in the previous leg, Elaine & Tony chose to travel non-stop on land to Tbilisi via Istanbul, and managed to arrive in Baku in first place. Both Josh & Felix and Darron & Alex took a boat to Çeşme, and then to Ankara where they took a slow train to Kars, which allowed the other teams to catch up.

In order to avoid elimination, Josh & Felix took a taxi from Tbilisi to Baku. Sue & Clare decided to take a break in Tbilisi after a long bus journey, which resulted in them being eliminated as they arrived in Baku last.

Order Teams Route Hours behind leaders Money left
1 Elaine & Tony RWBA Bus.svgLivadeia Icon train.svgThessaloniki RWBA Bus.svgAlexandroupoli RWBA Bus.svgIstanbulRWBA Bus.svgTbilisi Taxi Icon.pngRWBA Bus.svgBaku N/A 59%
2 Natalie & Shameema Taxi Icon.pngLivadeia Icon train.svgThessalonikiIstanbul Font Awesome 5 solid pound-sign.svg RWBA Bus.svgTbilisiRWBA Bus.svgBaku 3 63%
3 Josh & Felix Car - The Noun Project.svgAthens/Piraeus RWBA Fähre(R).svgÇeşme RWBA Bus.svgAnkara Icon train.svgKars RWBA Bus.svgTbilisi Taxi Icon.pngBaku 6 62%
4 Darron & Alex RWBA Bus.svgAthens/Piraeus RWBA Fähre(R).svgÇeşme RWBA Bus.svgAnkara Font Awesome 5 solid pound-sign.svgKars RWBA Bus.svgTbilisi RWBA Bus.svgBaku 11 59%
5 Sue & Clare RWBA Bus.svgLivadeia Icon train.svgThessaloniki RWBA Bus.svgIstanbul RWBA Bus.svgTbilisiRWBA Bus.svgBaku eliminated 54%

Leg 3: Baku → Tashkent[edit]

All four teams took the same ferry from the Port of Baku in Älät to Kuryk. However, due to a storm on the Caspian Sea, they had to stay on the ship for many days.

On reaching Kazakhstan, all the teams apart from Josh & Felix travelled through Uzbekistan from its western border with Kazakhstan to Tashkent, while Josh & Felix went on a northern route through Kazakhstan and approached Tashkent from the north. They stopped in Shymkent and travelled to watch a buzkashi game being played.

Although both Darron & Alex and Elaine & Tony reached Samarkand around the same time, Darron & Alex managed to get an earlier train to Tashkent and so finished first. Natalie & Shameema took advantage of a free car ride from Kuryk to Khiva; they were delayed on the journey, and decided to continue by trains to Tashkent to avoid further delays, but still finished in last place.

Order Teams Route Hours behind leaders Money left
1 Darron & Alex Taxi Icon.pngÄlät RWBA Fähre(R).svgKuryk Taxi Icon.pngAktau Icon train.svgNukus Icon train.svgSamarkand Icon train.svgTashkent N/A 40%
2 Elaine & Tony Taxi Icon.pngÄlät RWBA Fähre(R).svgKuryk Taxi Icon.pngAktau Taxi Icon.pngBukhara Font Awesome 5 solid pound-sign.svg Taxi Icon.pngSamarkand Icon train.svgTashkent 3 39%
Josh & Felix Taxi Icon.pngÄlät RWBA Fähre(R).svgKuryk Taxi Icon.pngAktauIcon train.svgAralShymkent High-contrast-camera-photo.svg Taxi Icon.pngTashkent 45%
4 Natalie & Shameema Taxi Icon.pngÄlät RWBA Fähre(R).svgKuryk Car - The Noun Project.svgAktau Car - The Noun Project.svgKhiva Icon train.svgBukharaIcon train.svgTashkent 6.5 51%

Leg 4: Tashkent → Huangyao[edit]

All teams travelled to Almaty in Kazakhstan to cross into China, via the Khorgas Border Crossing. Natalie & Shameema however stopped in Almaty to visit a ski resort. All teams had to pass through Xinjiang—one of the autonomous regions of China, which did not permit filming.

Darron & Alex went to Chengdu, where they worked in a flower shop to earn money, before travelling to their destination. After arriving in Guilin, Josh & Felix decided to spend time and money going rock climbing at Yangshuo.

In order to save money, Tony & Elaine travelled on a slow train to Guilin, and took a break there. At the end of this episode, Tony & Elaine had still not arrived at the checkpoint. Their arrival was shown in the following episode, at which point it was confirmed that they were 38.5 hours behind leaders Darron & Alex, who had already departed on the next leg before Tony & Elaine arrived.

Order Teams Route Hours behind leaders Money left
1 Darron & Alex Taxi Icon.pngShymkent Icon train.svgAlmaty Taxi Icon.pngKhorgasIcon train.svgChengdu Font Awesome 5 solid pound-sign.svg Icon train.svgGuilin Icon train.svgHezhou Taxi Icon.pngHuangyao N/A 17%
2 Josh & Felix Taxi Icon.pngShymkent Icon train.svgAlmaty Taxi Icon.pngKhorgasIcon train.svgXi'an Icon train.svgGuilin/Yangshuo High-contrast-camera-photo.svg Icon train.svgHezhou RWBA Bus.svgHuangyao 22 18%
3 Natalie & Shameema Taxi Icon.pngShymkent Icon train.svgAlmaty/Shymbulak High-contrast-camera-photo.svgKhorgas Icon train.svgJiayuguan Icon train.svgXi'an Icon train.svgGuilin Taxi Icon.pngHuangyao 26 22%
4 Elaine & Tony Taxi Icon.pngShymkent Icon train.svgAlmaty Icon train.svgKhorgasIcon train.svgXi'an Icon train.svgGuilin High-contrast-camera-photo.svgHuangyao 38.5 23%

Leg 5: Huangyao → Koh Rong[edit]

Elaine & Tony were a long way behind the other teams, so they decided to spend money on taxis and express train to try to get to the border with Vietnam as fast as possible. They managed to pass through the border on the same day before it closed, unlike the other teams who had to wait overnight before they could cross the border.

Darron & Alex, despite a 22 hour advantage on the second team to leave, had to work in Hội An selling sugarcane juice as they were running low on funds, which allowed Elaine & Tony to catch up with them and they crossed the Cambodian border on the same bus. Darron & Alex decided to work for bed and board at an elephant sanctuary in Mondul Kiri while Elaine & Tony worked in a rice field in Kratié, but both teams took the same boat to Koh Rong and came in joint first place.

Both Josh & Felix and Natalie & Shameema were on the same train to Ho Chi Minh City that was delayed on the train by a typhoon for 14 hours, and they arrived at Koh Rong on the same boat.

Order Teams Route Hours behind leaders Money left
1 Darron & Alex RWBA Bus.svgIcon train.svgNanning → → Friendship PassHanoi Icon train.svgHội An Font Awesome 5 solid pound-sign.svg Taxi Icon.pngPleiku RWBA Bus.svg → → Mondul Kiri RWBA Bus.svgPhnom Penh RWBA Bus.svgSihanoukville RWBA Fähre(R).svgKoh Rong N/A 7%
Elaine & Tony Taxi Icon.pngIcon train.svgNanningTaxi Icon.pngTaxi Icon.pngFriendship Pass → → Hanoi RWBA Bus.svgHội An RWBA Bus.svgPleiku RWBA Bus.svgRWBA Fähre(R).svgKratiéPhnom Penh RWBA Bus.svgSihanoukville RWBA Fähre(R).svgKoh Rong 13%
3 Josh & Felix RWBA Bus.svgWuzhouNanning Icon train.svgPingxiangFriendship PassHanoi Icon train.svgHo Chi Minh City RWBA Bus.svgRWBA Bus.svgSihanoukville RWBA Fähre(R).svgKoh Rong 16 8%
Natalie & Shameema Icon train.svgNanning → → Friendship Pass RWBA Bus.svg → → Hanoi RWBA Bus.svgHội An Icon train.svgHo Chi Minh City RWBA Bus.svgHà TiênSihanoukville RWBA Fähre(R).svgKoh Rong 10%

Leg 6: Koh Rong → Singapore[edit]

Both Elaine & Tony and Natalie & Shameema had more money left, so both teams took taxis to Cambodia. Darron & Alex and Josh & Felix had less money, and had to take a longer route to Bangkok via Phnom Penh. As Darron & Alex had little money left, they work in Bangkok as dog walkers in a dog training centre. Tony injured his back while on the bus, and the team had to take a break in Krabi. However, they managed to get the last seats on the direct bus to Singapore from Hat Yai. Although their bus broke down in Malaysia, they were the first team to reach the last checkpoint on the observation deck at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

Josh & Felix had to work in a hostel in Krabi as they were running out of money. They eventually finished last, and did not have enough money to reach the final checkpoint. However, they were given the money by Natalie & Shameema so they can complete the race.

Order Teams Route Hours behind leaders Money left
1 Elaine & Tony RWBA Fähre(R).svgSihanoukville Taxi Icon.pngTrat RWBA Bus.svgBangkok RWBA Bus.svgKrabi RWBA Bus.svgHat Yai RWBA Bus.svgSingapore N/A
2 Darron & Alex RWBA Fähre(R).svgSihanoukville RWBA Bus.svgPhnom Penh RWBA Bus.svgBangkok Font Awesome 5 solid pound-sign.svg RWBA Bus.svgKrabi RWBA Bus.svgHat Yai RWBA Bus.svgKuala Lumpur RWBA Bus.svgSingapore 3
3 Natalie & Shameema RWBA Fähre(R).svgSihanoukville Taxi Icon.pngTratBangkok Icon train.svgSurat ThaniHat YaiKuala LumpurSingapore 20.5
4 Josh & Felix RWBA Fähre(R).svgSihanoukville RWBA Bus.svg → Phnom Penh RWBA Bus.svgBangkok RWBA Bus.svgKrabiHat YaiKuala LumpurSingapore 26.5


The first episode had an overnight viewing figure of 1.5 million.[16] The audience grew over the weeks, and in the final episode, it had an overnight viewing figure of 2.4 million.[17]

Episode Airdate 7 day viewers
28 day viewers
weekly ranking[18]
1 3 March 2019 (2019-03-03) 1.930 2.335 6
2 10 March 2019 (2019-03-10) 2.480 2.945 3
3 17 March 2019 (2019-03-17) 2.466 2.806 4
4 24 March 2019 (2019-03-24) 2.609 2.877 3
5 31 March 2019 (2019-03-31) 2.732 3.001 2
6 7 April 2019 (2019-04-07) 3.306 3.495 2

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Maxted, Anna (28 February 2019). "Race Across the World: Could you travel by land to Singapore — with just £25 a day?". The Times.
  2. ^ a b c d "Race Across The World, BBC2". Broadcast. 1 March 2019.
  3. ^ "BBC announces new factual entertainment commissions - Media Centre". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  4. ^ "BBC - BBC One takes celebrities on a Race Across The World - Media Centre". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  5. ^ Turner, Lauren (6 April 2019). "Race Across the World: How the BBC series was made". BBC News.
  6. ^ Rosseinsky, Katie (3 March 2019). "Race Across The World: is the BBC's new show the ultimate hitch-hiking challenge?". Evening Standard.
  7. ^ Corr, Sinead (18 March 2019). "Race Across the World: Sue Last's adventure of a lifetime in bid to win £20,000". Bishop's Stortford Independent.
  8. ^ "BBC - Race Across The World 2019 winners revealed - Media Centre". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d e "BBC Two - Race across the World - Meet the Couples". BBC. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  10. ^ "BBC Two - Race across the World, Series 1, Episode 1". BBC.
  11. ^ "BBC Two - Race across the World, Series 1, Episode 2". BBC.
  12. ^ "BBC Two - Race across the World, Series 1, Episode 3". BBC.
  13. ^ "BBC Two - Race across the World, Series 1, Episode 4". BBC.
  14. ^ "BBC Two - Race across the World, Series 1, Episode 5". BBC.
  15. ^ "BBC Two - Race across the World, Series 1, Episode 6". BBC.
  16. ^ Parker, Robin (4 March 2019). "Race Across the World sets off with 1.5m". Broadcast.
  17. ^ "How to apply for Race Across the World series 2". Radio Times. 8 April 2019.
  18. ^ "Four-screen dashboard". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board.

External links[edit]