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
Sport
Lionel Messi pictured after reaching the final
world cup 2014
Sport
Lionel Messi and Thomas Muller have shone brightest for Argentina and Germany respectively on their way to the World Cup final
Sport
Brazilian fans watch the match for third place between Brazil and Netherlands
Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: Dutch pile on the misery in third place playoff
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Arts and Entertainment
'Deep Breath' is Peter Capaldi's first full-length adventure as the twelfth Doctor
TVFirst episode of new series has ended up on the internet
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
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
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

    Sales Manager (Fashion and Jewellery), Paddington, London

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

    Volunteer Digital Marketing Trustee needed

    Voluntary, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Are you keen on...

    Java Swing Developer - Hounslow - £33K to £45K

    £33000 - £45000 per annum + 8% Bonus, pension: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: ...

    Corporate Events Sales Manager, Marlow,Buckinghamshire

    £30K- £40K pa + Commision £10K + Benefits: Charter Selection: Rapidly expandin...

    Day In a Page

    Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

    How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

    A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
    The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    The evolution of Andy Serkis

    First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

    Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
    Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

    Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

    Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
    Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

    Blackest is the new black

    Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
    Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

    Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

    From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
    Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
    Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

    Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

    The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
    Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

    Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

    The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

    Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

    Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
    Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

    Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

    The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
    The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

    The Open 2014

    Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?