Billy Connolly: Journey To The Edge Of The World

LIVING CHANNEL – Mondays from 1 May, 8.30pm

Popular comedian Billy Connolly sets out to explore a remote world in a spectacular travelogue across Canada. The North West Passage was once considered almost impossible to navigate, the rate at which ice is melting in the Arctic means that the region could soon become a major shipping route, with its sense of isolation lost forever. The programme begins with Billy meeting the descendants of the Scots, Acadians and Irish who set out in search of fortune or freedom in the New World. Series highlights include whale watching at Quirpon Lighthouse, and a spectacular flight to the epicentre of the Klondike Gold Rush.

7:30pm Saturday, January 9 on TV One

Comedian Billy Connolly takes an adventure journey of a lifetime, travelling from the Atlantic Ocean, to the Pacific Ocean, in TV ONE’s new series Billy Connolly: Journey To The Edge Of The World (tonight at 7.30pm on TV ONE).

Starting in Nova Scotia, Connolly heads north above the Arctic Circle, then works east to west by way of the legendary North-West Passage, and heads overland across the Canadian North West. Finally ending up at Vancouver on the Pacific seaboard, he makes his way from ocean to ocean by one of the world’s most spectacular, yet little seen routes.

It’s a journey by sea-plane and ice-breaker, on precipitous narrow-gauge railways and dirt-track roads, on a Harley, in helicopters and on-foot, through the remote wilderness. A journey along a coastline jewelled by icebergs, and across wild landscapes that represent the final northern frontier of the inhabited world, for both man and beast.

He’ll be meeting Inuits, Fishermen, Hunters, Cowboys, ‘Indians’, Lumberjacks, Hikers, Bikers, Mounties and Bush Pilots – real people in real situations.

For Connolly, it’s a personal journey as much as a physical one. He remembers reading adventure stories set in Canada as his form of escape when he was a wee lad growing up in the grim tenements of Glasgow, and at the age of 65, he’s in search of those childhood dreams.

“For centuries people have dreamed of the North-West Passage as a trade route, but it was always iced up. Now with a changing climate, the melting ice should clear for just enough time for me to go and have a wee look, and explore the edge of the world,” says Connolly.

The series combines beautiful untouched landscapes with Connolly’s animated conversations with the people he meets – his unique personality shines through in his intimate conversations with the camera. He says just like the countless explorers and pioneers before him, who braved the North Atlantic to reach America, there’s no better way to start an adventure than to arrive by boat.

For the first leg of his journey, Connolly explores Canada’s Atlantic Coast. “I’m starting at Halifax, Nova Scotia. Today, it’s a busy seaport; but this was once the gateway for hoards of Europeans who’d come here to make a new life in, what for them was, the edge of the world.”