20 July Saturday

UK’s popular adventure travel show ‘Car and Country’ to shoot in God’s Own Country

Web Desk‌Updated: Wednesday Feb 22, 2023

Kochi, Feb 22: The verve of a dynamic young crew from the UK is set to scorch the well-laid out roads of lush green Kerala serenaded by nearly four dozen rivers and umpteen rivulets and canals and caressed by the magnificent Western Ghats on the east and the suave Arabian Sea on the west. Yes, the famed ‘Car and Country’ show that’s a rage on the European continent is descending right here, hosted by Kerala Tourism, which has seized the opportunity to market Kerala on the digital platform in a big way, offering a rare treat to a global audience, triggering wanderlust in them.


Shoot for the latest leg of the ‘Car and Country’ show here, its first leg outside the European continent, with the support of Kerala Tourism, 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 here, the racers will move on to the Gulf terrain.


Two Keralites – Deepak Narendran and Ashique Thahir - are at the wheel of this 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.


The team, so far, 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.


Fabled to be created by Lord Parasurama, this mythical land’s quintessential varieties like Kalarippayattu, Kathakali, houseboats, snake boat races, its 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 God’s Own Country to expose it in a brilliant way to the world outside.


Ashique from Kozhikode, who is passionate about supercars, just can’t hide his excitement by being part of this elite league of the ‘Car and Country’ rush.


“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 superhit with local as well as the global audience,” said Charlotte Fantelli.


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


It's both a travel and adventure show with Freddie Hunt throwing in his passion and speed into the ring. Deepak Narendran from Kochi who has settled in the UK now, launched the show in 2014 and Ashique 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 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,” said Ashique.


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.