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Paul O'Grady's Great British Escape

Duration: 6 x 30'

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Each episode of this beautiful series takes the viewer on an expedition of discovery unearthing tales of history and exploring the extraordinary scenery and wildlife of the 'Garden of England'. 

Travelling through the country's rich flora and fauna, Paul O'Grady explores 10 miles of stunning countryside via beautiful heritage railway, marvelling ancient and flourishing woodlands and visiting Britain’s most endangered animals. He visits famous landmarks like the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, the spectacular Romney Marshes and the eerie looking WWII Red Forts.

Over 6 parts this series, discovers the weird, wonderful, extraordinary and unusual gems that this beautiful county of Kent has to offer.

Over 4 million viewers for episode 1

Episode 1

Paul kicks off his adventure by taking to the skies in style in a 1935 Tiger Moth plane, hacking hops on Castle Farm, meeting a moody sea eagle at Eagle Heights (UK’s biggest Bird of Prey Rescue Centre) and learning the secrets behind the stunning Hever castle, built in 1383 and the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII.

Episode 2

Paul continues his journey around Kent, taking in the spectacular Romney Marshes, where he meets a herd of alpacas, and the RSPB nature reserve in Dungeness.

Episode 3

Paul heads off on an expedition to explore Kent’s stunning coastline that stretches over 350 miles, hiding many surprising secrets. Visiting Dover Harbour, Broadstairs where he meets Charles Dickens Gr Gr Gr Granddaughter Lucinda and Whistable where he meets a 5th generation family of oysters sellers. 

Episode 4

Paul makes a modern-day pilgrimage to Canterbury, visits the village of Pett Bottom just outside Canterbury where he pops in for a drink at the idyllic ‘Duck Inn’, the favourite watering hole of James Bond author Ian Fleming.  Then on to Tenterden, home to the historic Kent and East Sussex train line, a beautiful heritage railway that runs through 10 miles of stunning countryside.  Finally, he meets some extraordinary animals, at the Big Cat Sanctuary, a conservation centre home to 46 of the world’s most endangered felines, including panthers, jaguars and pumas.

Episode 5

Paul explores Kent’s beautiful forests containing England’s most ancient woodland, which covers over 10% of Kent’s bucolic countryside. He visits the Wildwood Trust just outside Canterbury, a wildlife conservation centre helping protect some of Britain’s most endangered animals including the adorable dormouse, the water vole and the centre’s majestic brown bears – rescued from hunters in Bulgaria!  He also visits the Kentish Pip, a 100-year old cider apple orchard.  He learns the ancient skill of horse coppicing with magnificent shire horses. Finally he meets beekeeper John whose many thousands of bees thrive in Kent’s flourishing woodlands.  Living on a farm, Paul’s long considered getting some hives of his own. 

Episode 6

In the final episode Paul encounters the Red Sand Sea Forts.  Built 13 miles out to sea in the Thames Estuary, these eerie looking WWII anti-aircraft towers proved a great success helping to deter and report incoming German air raids.  Back on dry land, Paul heads to Botany Bay to discover more about another of Kent’s watery secrets – smuggling!  He also scales the great tower at the iconic Dover Castle.  Never conquered in its 800-year history, he is given the honour of firing a very rare WW1 anti-aircraft gun over the channel.

Finally, Paul heads to Hythe where he’s greeted by another unusual sight – rhinos, zebras and camels grazing on the safari plains of Kent!  He’s at Port Lympne Reserve, one of the UK’s leading wildlife conservation centres a stone’s throw from Paul’s home and his favourite place to get his animal fix.   He then returns home to a heroes’ welcome from his dogs

For ITV

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