Travel-phobic tourist Karl Pilkington has a new travel companion in Sky1’s Idiot Abroad 3, as he follows in the footsteps of Marco Polo with Life’s Too Short star Warwick Davis. Both stars reveal to What’s on TV how they got on…

Did you actually want a travelling companion for the new series?
Karl:
“Ricky Gervais said I’d have to do something different this time. No disrespect to you Warwick, but I wanted either Ricky or Steve (Merchant) to come. After everything they’ve put me through on the other trips, I wanted to see how they would handle it.”
Warwick: “When we were filming Life’s Too Short, I’d said to Ricky how lucky Karl is lucky doing all these trips. Ricky said, ‘I don’t think he appreciates just how lucky he is.'”
Karl: “I didn’t even know Warwick so I asked Ricky what the point was. He said, ‘Oh, you get on with people. Just go off and do it.’ It was a bit of a dodgy idea and I’m surprised Sky put money towards it, to be honest.”

The series is being promoted as you two following in the footsteps of explorer Marco Polo – travelling from Italy to China. When did you find that out?
Karl:
“I think that came after. We started off in Venice so I suppose that makes it sound a bit more official.”
Warwick: “Karl couldn’t be bothered with the whole Marco Polo idea.”
Karl: “It’s all changed since his time. I looked it up and he went to places like Turkey. But Turkey’s now full of tourists, so there’s no point in going.”

In Venice, you both went to a masked ball and Karl, you had a go on a jet pack. Was it good having Warwick there to share these experiences?
Karl:
“I suppose so, but every time we saw a sunrise or sunset, he kept using the word, ‘majestic’. He’d obviously heard that on some other TV programme. It’s like when Joanna Lumley goes travelling, she starts crying because there’s a goat on a roof. It’s the sort of thing people slip into on travel programmes and it annoys me.”
Warwick: “I definitely enjoyed the jet pack more than you did!”

You both had a go at being lifted up by helium balloons – even though Warwick wasn’t supposed to be doing it?
Karl:
“I just wanted him to experience what I was going through. OK, looking back it was a dangerous thing to do as there was just a group of local kids holding onto the ropes and they were very excited. There was nothing else going on so it was either robbing cars or lifting dwarves up on balloons.”
Warwick: “In remote communities, it’s amazing how quickly news of something different spreads. But you wouldn’t believe the force of those balloons – I could’ve ended up in Albania. As I was being strapped in they showed me a pair of scissors on a bit of string and said, ‘If it goes wrong just cut the balloons!'”

Would you go travelling together again?
Karl:
“We had our ups and downs, but by the end, it was all right. People reacted totally differently when Warwick was around. In India, he attracted huge mobs. We were at a train station once and it nearly caused a riot.”
Warwick: “There was a man there dressed as a monkey, yet everyone was interested in me! But I never felt intimidated in any way, they were just interested.”
Karl: “I found Warwick’s smiling face quite annoying. Sometimes you don’t want happy people about. I wanted him to experience it properly and have a bit of a breakdown. But maybe he went back to his room at night and cried.”
Warwick: “I really enjoyed it so I’d definitely do it again. It was majestic!”

Idiot Abroad 3 begins Friday, November 30 on Sky1 at 9pm