Last Woman On Earth with Sara Pascoe returns to BBC Two

ExclusiveSunday 22nd May 2022, 8:43pm by Jay Richardson

  • BBC Two has ordered three more episodes of Last Woman On Earth With Sara Pascoe
  • The comedian is experiencing being a LEGO master builder and Dead Sea lifeguard, as she visits Greece, Denmark and Jordan
  • However, she has followed Dara O Briain in acknowledging the "inauthenticity" of television travelogues
Sara Pascoe. Copyright: FremantleMedia

Last Woman On Earth With Sara Pascoe is returning for a second series, British Comedy Guide can exclusively reveal.

The comedian is to visit Greece, Denmark and Jordan in three further hour-long episodes of the BBC Two travelogue, in which she tries her hand at jobs on the verge of becoming obsolete and speaks to the people still practising them.

New professions she is trying out this time include LEGO master builder and Dead Sea lifeguard.

"Having been locked indoors like everyone else through the pandemic, I can't wait to get back out into the world to see what's changed, what's changing and how rare and interesting jobs are being affected" she said. "We've got more fascinating people to meet this series and some equally exciting adventures!"

The stand-up, who also presents The Great British Sewing Bee on BBC Two and wrote and starred in the sitcom Out Of Her Mind for the channel in 2020, presented the first series of the travelogue later that same year, experiencing a range of jobs including ice carving in Finland, climbing trees to pick coconuts for making sweets in Cuba and becoming a Stalin Museum guide in Georgia.

Pascoe was also reportedly planning to shoot an episode in South Korea, but the idea was abandoned because of coronavirus travel restrictions that also curtailed her visit to Finland.

She made her travelogue debut in 2019 with the BBC Two show Travelling Blind, in which she accompanied blind tour operator and travel presenter Amar Latif to Turkey.

Earlier this week, she lamented such shows' "inauthenticity", reflecting that during each encounter with someone she was acutely aware of the director's requirements in her head.

However, the artificiality extended to her feigning a fear of bees to give the show a more dramatic storyline, in a segment in which she and Latif visited beehives in treetops.

"If me and this blind guy go and look at some bees, that is not an interesting, apparently, documentary" she told Jamie Laing on his Private Parts podcast. "So it had to be that I was scared and he persuaded me to see it. And so it's just a lie."

Despite a rise in comedians presenting travelogues in recent years, Pascoe's comments arguably reflect an inherent tension between the genre's narrative demands and comedians' tendency to be candid and indiscreet.

In March, Dara O Briain disclosed how, on BBC Two's Three Men In A Boat, in which he traversed waterways with fellow comedians Griff Rhys Jones and Rory McGrath for seven series between 2006 and 2011, that "we faked everything. Absolutely faked everything", relating how little time they had actually spent on the boats when not filming.

"We used to film ourselves in the previous day's clothes arriving into a harbour, we put on the next day's clothes filming us leaving the harbour" he told Alan Carr on his Life's A Beach podcast. "Bang, bang, lovely, done. Let's all go for steaks. It was really civilised and great and it was genuinely the only time it felt like a holiday."

The process was markedly different to his later BBC Two road trips with Ed Byrne, in which the pair genuinely drove thousands of miles across Asia and Latin America.

O Briain also noted the influence of the Three Men In A Boat model for establishing comedian travelogues in the television schedules. And he added his incredulity that no-one had commissioned Three Women In A Boat yet, suggesting that getting Pascoe, Sandi Toksvig and "a newer comedian" together for such a series is "an open goal".

Last Woman On Earth Series 2 is produced by Mus Mustafa (Joel & Nish Vs The World, One Night In Hamleys) for Talkback (QI, Never Mind The Buzzcocks), developed by Charlie Bennett and executive produced by Laura Gibson. It was commissioned by Catherine Catton, head of commissioning, popular factual and factual entertainment for the BBC and the commissioning editor is Clare Mottershead.

"Our audiences relished Sara's uniquely brilliant take on the jobs, cultures and countries she encountered in the first series" said Catton. "Having had our plans for a follow-up delayed, we're thrilled to be able to embark on some brand new journeys with her."

Gibson, creative director at Talkback, added: "After the last two years 'TV travelogue presenter' was almost put on the endangered jobs list. Thankfully, we are delighted to say that intrepid Sara is returning to explore more countries and fascinating professions."

Meanwhile, Pascoe begins her Success Story UK stand-up tour on 10th November at the Beck Theatre in Hayes, reflecting upon her career achievements and recently giving birth to a baby via IVF treatment.

Last Woman On Earth With Sara Pascoe - Series One

Writer, stand-up comedian and actor Sara Pascoe is a woman of many talents, and in this feel good adventure travel programme, she's turning her hand to some fascinating new skills as she seeks out the jobs that technology and globalisation are making a thing of the past.

We join Sara as she travels to Cuba, Finland and Georgia, charming the locals and offering up humorous and fascinating insights into the rich local culture. But she's really there to meet the people doing jobs, crafts and techniques that are dying out, so she can soak up their expertise before it's too late.

A regular guest on some of the UK's most well-loved comedy panel shows - including QI, 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown and Have I Got News For You - Sara brings her natural humour and curiosity to these fascinating trades and places, learning what it would take to be the Last Woman on the Planet.

First released: Monday 6th June 2022

  • Distributor: Dazzler
  • Region: 2
  • Discs: 1
  • Minutes: 180
  • Subtitles: English

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