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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
science
News
people
Life and Style
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
science
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
tv
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
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

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Telesales Manager. Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Day In a Page

    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
    Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

    Edinburgh Fringe 2014

    The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried