My Life In Travel: Karl Pilkington

'I've done some luxury flying - it was brilliant'


Karl Pilkington is a radio producer and TV presenter



First holiday memory?

Somewhere in Cornwall with a caravan, mum, dad, brother, sister and some cousins who I don't think I've seen since. It was a battered old caravan that we couldn't all sit in at one end at once, because it would tip up. It was like the end of The Italian Job. It was good, because some evenings you'd be at the front end, and others you'd be at the back playing cards with someone else.

Best holiday?

For me, a good holiday is about value for money rather than things to see. Therefore my best holiday was either on Mallorca or Menorca – I can't remember which one. We got a four-bedroom villa with a pool for a week for £250. It was in the middle of nowhere, near some shops selling dinghies and postcards and an annoying family from Scotland next door who were really loud.



Favourite place in the British Isles?

Wales, where I went a lot as a kid, probably three or four times a year. We went to a holiday camp called Greenacres in Porthmadog and I loved it – messing about on the beach and in arcades with some mates that I made down there. I went back fairly recently and it wasn't as good as I remembered.



Ideal travelling companion?

I've gone away with mates, but they can get on your nerves. And it's nice to go away with my mum and dad, but I end up staying up late and drinking more. So I'd probably say my girlfriend Suzanne, because she knows what I'm like and I can do exactly what I want. People tend to like doing things. On the Mallorca/Menorca holiday, a woman came up to me and asked if I wanted to go on a sausage factory tour, which I definitely didn't. I prefer to sit and do nothing or just people-watch.



Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

Out of that lot, probably the beach one. It's not about being lazy or getting a nice tan, because I like to be in the shade. But I like just watching life going by. I like listening to people – overhearing families arguing – or reading people's tattoos.



Greatest travel luxury?

I've done some luxury flying, which is brilliant. It has only happened once or twice, but it was nice because flying is the worst part of the holiday. But then again, if the plane crashes you're still dead. For that much money I'd want a little capsule that whizzed me off to safety if it was going to crash.



Holiday reading?

Most of the time I take a book just in case I have to avoid a sausage factory tour. If I'm desperate I'll pick it up, but most of the time I don't bother. I'd rather listen to my iPod or read a magazine. Reading gives you a bad neck and I don't like that thing where people look at what you're reading; it would have to be a book you can take the sleeve off of.



Where has seduced you?

Making the An Idiot Abroad series I was really dreading going to India; I thought I'd hate it. It was a nightmare and I was really ill – just like everyone says. But there was one point when I wasn't being ill and everything came together at the right time. I was just across from the Taj Mahal on a bit of land that is usually off-limits. It was away from the madness of India, just as the sun was going down, and I knew I was going home the next day. I was relaxed and could actually enjoy the moment. I don't think I'll ever forget it. At the same time, I don't ever want to go back.



Best meal abroad?

I look forward to a pudding more than anything, but they're never that good abroad. Generally I find it a bit of a chore, because if you're somewhere really touristy the restaurants have menus like the Domesday Book with everything listed in about 10 languages; or if not, the waiters tend not to understand you. I had steak and chips twice in Madrid because of a misunderstanding.

Better to travel or arrive?

It's got to be arriving. Does anybody say travelling?



Worst travel experience?

Lanzarote. Horrible. It's like Planet of the Apes. We drove around looking at volcanoes, because there was nothing else to do. Once you've seen one you've seen them all – we saw about 30.



Worst hotel?

Nobody believes me when I tell them this, but it was a hotel in Tunisia that seemed to be run by dwarves. I wondered if it was to make the place look bigger. They were really cheeky; one of them kept pinching Suzanne's arse, but it's awkward to shout at small fellas. It was really weird.



Best hotel?

The Windsor Hotel in Cairo. Even though it looked pretty bad, the people were really friendly, there weren't many guests, and it felt nice and homely.



Dream trip?

I think it's a problem when something's a dream because it'll never live up to your expectations. It's better to go somewhere thinking it'll be horrible, and then be pleasantly surprised.



Favourite city?

Rome. You can have a wander about looking at interesting things like the Colosseum without spending money. Plus I like pasta, so it ticks a lot of boxes.



Where next?

Suzanne's a bit jealous of all my travelling, and she's talking about seeing a giraffe. So it'll either be a safari or the zoo.



Karl Pilkington presents 'An Idiot Abroad' 9pm Thursdays on Sky 1 HD and Sky 1. 'An Idiot Abroad: The Travel Diaries of Karl Pilkington' is published by Canongate Books, £16.99

The My Life in Travel column is produced in association with Andalucia Tourism. See www.andalucia.org

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
TVShow's twee, safe facade smashed by ice cream melting scandal
Life and Style
life
News
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
peopleSpokesperson for couple confirms they tied the knot on Saturday after almost a decade together
Voices
Pupils educated at schools like Eton (pictured) are far more likely to succeed in politics and the judiciary, the report found
voices
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
Actor, model and now record breaker: Jiff the Pomeranian
Video
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
News
i100
News
Down time: an employee of Google uses the slide to get to the canteen
scienceBosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Business Development Manager / Sales Pro

    £30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...

    Graduate Sales Executive / Junior Sales Exec

    £18k + Uncapped Commission (£60k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Sales Exe...

    Web Developer / Software Developer

    £25 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Web Developer / Software Developer is needed ...

    Oracle 11g SQL 2008 DBA (Unix, Oracle RAC, Mirroring, Replicati

    £6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...

    Day In a Page

    Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

    Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

    Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
    Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

    Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

    The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
    America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

    America’s new apartheid

    Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
    Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

    What is the appeal of Twitch?

    Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
    Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

    How bosses are making us work harder

    As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
    Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

    Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

    As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
    Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

    A tale of two writers

    Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
    Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

    Should pupils get a lie in?

    Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
    Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

    Prepare for Jewish jokes...

    ... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
    SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

    A dream come true for SJ Watson

    Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
    10 best cycling bags for commuters

    10 best cycling bags for commuters

    Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
    Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

    Paul Scholes column

    Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
    Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

    Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

    A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
    Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

    The science of herding is cracked

    Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
    Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

    This tyrant doesn’t rule

    It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?