90. Bill Bailey; Larks in Transit, Vultures in the Pyrenees, Australian Rural Sheep Stations and Indian Ox-Roading Accidents - The Big Travel Podcast

Episode Array
March 12 , 2020

90. Bill Bailey; Larks in Transit, Vultures in the Pyrenees, Australian Rural Sheep Stations and Indian Ox-Roading Accidents

We’re in Malaga with superstar comedian Bill Bailey having tapas by the Cathedral fresh after seeing his latest tour. As well as being sublimely entertaining Bill is possibly the world’s most well travelled comedian and we talk childhood holidays, the Coronavirus, touring, languages, politics, birding, wildlife Indonesia, moths, crazy car rides, free tea, dancing bears, growing up in the West Country, teenage bands and organ playing in crematoriums and so much more, All over a nice glass of Spanish red and some cheese. 

On this episode we cover:


Having fun translating things into other languages

How your personality changes in different languages

Sounding very decisive in Spanish

Living a total lie with a foreign spouse

Touring means getting an insight into a destination

Cycling to get to know a place

His childhood holiday in Torremolinos (with aunts, uncles, grandparents…)

Being a big deal when a local Chinese take away opened

Growing up in the area of package holiday booming

His love of wildlife (not fetish!)

How the Coronavirus started with Pangolins in Wuhan

How birdwatching is an excuse to hang out in beautiful places

Suzy Buttress and her Casual Birder Podcast

The giant vulture that freaked him out in the Pyrenees

How twitchers are weirder than birders

Lisa’s BBC colleague who’d run off at the drop of a pager

The Big Travel Podcast’s editor Alex George making a guest appearance

The rather scary carnivorous plant named after Bill

Beating all UK comedians in a pipe smoking competition

Wikipedia deciding his birthday is not his birthday

The house his grandfather stonemason built in the garden

Growing up in his father’s GP surgery

His teenage band Behind Closed Doors (aka behind firmly locked garage doors)

How the worse thing that can happen in Bath is having a bad scone

Being made an honorary member of the Crematorium Organist’s Society

Being accepted as full troll in Norway

Using many of his brilliant travel stories in the show

The old Dutch East India Company nutmeg island in Indonesia

Buying a flight by giving the pilot some cigarettes

Taxis ignoring him in Hong Kong

Apologising for British Colonialism

Being hated as a Colonial in Greece

The residual longing for nostalgia in India

The dancing bears of India

Lisa’s podcasts with India Hicks and Lady Pamela Hicks (daughter of Lord Mountbatten)

Brown people being barred from the hotel breakfast

Dicing with life and death (oh and an Ox) on the Indian highway

Getting lost deep in the desert in a rural sheep station in Australia

How if we had to grade our worst moths, the Siberian Tusk Moth would be in there

His kazoo getting quarantined in New Zealand

Worried you’ve accidentally got a kilo of cocaine at customs

Not wanting the sniffer dogs to get in trouble

Bringing musical instruments back from travels

Lisa’s sitar journey back from India

Buying an unidentified instrument from local musicians in a small village China

Brian May’s guitar being held together by shoelaces

Falling flat in Tartu, Estonia when he asked a pop music question

Estonia’s singing revolution – was it because the singing was just so bad…?

How Talking Heads’ Once in a Lifetime is the perfect soundtrack to whale-watching in the Great Barrier Reef