Europe’s popular adventure travel show ‘Car and Country’ comes to Kerala

The 'Car and Country' team at the press meet in Kochi. Photo: Special Arrangement.

Kochi: UK’s popular adventure travel show ‘Car and Country’ is set to touch the Kerala roads with the State tourism department hosting the latest leg of the OTT programme.

This is the first time the show is being shot outside the European continent.

The ‘Car and Country’ team, including Keralites Deepak Narendran and Ashique Thahir, had some exciting trips through the picturesque bylanes of England, France, and Scotland, which were beamed through Amazon Prime UK OTT platform for nearly two months and have been lapped up by viewers.

By joining hands with the show’s crew, the Kerala Tourism Department has seized the opportunity to market the state on the digital platform in a big way, eyeing a global audience and potential travellers.

Kerala’s Kalarippayattu, Kathakali, houseboats, snake boat races, tea plantations and more will be captured for the new edition of the 'Car and Country show'. Photo: Special Arrangement

Shoot for the latest leg of the ‘Car and Country’ will have Porsche and other supercars racing past the greenery deep down south of India. The cars zipping past will include Porsche Track Version GT Cars, Porsche Electric Taycan, Porsche SUV Macan and Cayenne. From Kerala, the racers will move on to the Gulf terrain.

Kerala’s iconic Kalarippayattu, Kathakali, houseboats, snake boat races, local delicacies, majestic hills, backwaters, paddy fields and tea plantations will be captured for the new edition of the Car and Country show. Kerala Tourism Minister Muhammed Riyas’ keen interest has resulted in the show turning its gaze to the God’s Own Country to showcase it to the world outside.

Narendran from Kochi who has settled in the UK now, launched the show in 2014 and Thahir, a Kozhikode-based businessman, teamed up with him in the later episodes. It slipped into a two-year break due to the pandemic before re-emerging last year.

The 'Car and Country' team shoots in Kerala. Photo: Special Arrangement

“The shoot of the last episode was challenging. We had to sleep over in tents in snowy mountains in extreme weather. We had to do wild river rafting in adverse climate conditions and do off-roading with the car,” Thahir said at a press meet here on Wednesday.

Narendran and Thahir are at the wheel of the adventurous ‘rush,’ along with Freddie Hunt, a professional racing driver and son of legendary James Hunt, who is the 1976 F1 World Champion.

The other team members are Charlotte Fantelli, Paul Richards, Sammy Seeley, Paddy King, Adam Bertenshaw, Ken Clay, Malcolm Targett, Amy Holiday, Aimee Watts, Preetham Madhavan and Marion Ferg.

“We let out a feel of the charming European landscape, rural communities, cultures and cuisine from the window of our supercars. Now we are happy to turn the world’s attention toward this green tinged-state’s natural brilliance. I am sure the show that emerges from our trip will be a super-hit with local as well as the global audience,” said Fantelli.

Branded Studios and Searchlight Productions, London, are capturing the show that’s emerging from the stunning journey.

In its first edition, Car and Country was aired on Fox International and the sponsors of the show were Emirates, Star TV, National Geographic and Star Health. Realizing the potential of the show on the online platform, the duo moved the show to Amazon Prime UK in the later episodes. TV and radio presenter and model Danni Menzies and Lucia Coward, British actor and TV presenter, were part of the first season which was telecast in four episodes exploring the charming English countryside in four iconic supercars.

The French leg, sponsored by French Tourism, covered the French Riviera and Alsace. It also zoomed in on an automobile museum with a classic collection of Bugatti cars from across the world at Mulhouse in France.

The vintage cars that propelled this round were 1959 Chevrolet C1, 1989 Ferrari Mondial, 1956 Porsche Speedster and MGA Roadster.

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