Race Across the World 2024: Everything you need to know about the new series

By Lisa James
Home » Race Across the World 2024: Everything you need to know about the new series

BBC1’s Race Across the World returns to our TV screens next week, with another five teams competing to be the first to reach the finish line and win a cash prize. Here’s everything you need to know about series four of the popular show…

What is Race Across the World?

If you’ve never heard of it (and where have you been?), RATW sees five pairs of contestants battle it out to complete in separate legs of the race and ultimately be the first to get to their destination and win the £20,000 prize.

Sounds pretty straightforward…

Not really, as the teams have to part with their smartphones and credit cards, forgo internet access and travel overland as quickly and cheaply as possible, pushing them to physical and emotional limits. If they can find a kind person to help, they may get a free lift and, during each leg, they can choose their own route and may stop off to do some sightseeing, tick something off their bucket list, or do some work in exchange for money or a bed for the night.

Contestants need to balance the desire to take time out to try some must-see experiences, while keeping one eye on the clock and the other on their budget. Only one team can emerge victorious and claim the cash prize.

Who are the contestants in series four?

As in previous series, five teams of two compete against each other.

Best friends Owen, a trainee pilot and Alfie, football referee, both from Hertfordshire are the youngest contestants, both aged 20.

The eldest are husband and wife duo Stephen (61) and Viv (65), from Rutland, who have a newfound zest for life since retiring and are in pursuit of a thrilling adventure.

Then there’s sister and brother team 25-year-old social media manager Betty and 21-year-old sales consultant James, both from Yorkshire.

The two remaining teams are made up of mothers and daughters: 52-year-old cleaner Sharon and 25-year-old snowboard instructor Brydie, from Kent, as well as Barking-based teacher Eugenie, 60, and 25-year-old daughter Isabel, a trainee clinical scientist in Birmingham.

Where do they go?

The first series, in 2019, saw teams travel from London to Singapore. Series two, in 2020, took place in South America and series three, in 2023, went from Vancouver to Newfoundland in Canada. The winners of that series, Tricia Sail and Cathie Rowe, were invited to speak at the Barrhead Travel conference in Palma in October and got a standing ovation. A celebrity version last autumn started in Morocco and saw contestants race through Europe.

Eastern Asia is this year’s route, and the five intrepid duos will battle it out in a 15,000-kilometres race across several countries. From Tokyo in the north of Japan, they will cross six seas and eight borders, skirting the path of the volcanic ring of fire – the most geologically unstable region on the planet – to reach the finish line on the Indonesian island of Lombok.

When is it on?

Series four starts at 9pm on 10 April on BBC One and iPlayer.

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