In the last season of this show, English host-comedian Ian Wright found himself at the shoot of the Bollywood film Golmaal 3 in Goa as a guest of the starring actor Arshad Warsi. “But I didn’t make it to the film because I was so bad, I even fought with the director,” jokes the host of the TV show, Invite Mr Wright, which is now returning to the tube with its second season on TLC today.
This year, Wright found himself taking up a challenge that’s a tad tougher. “I trained in how to become a monk. I thought I’d last for three days, but it was great fun,” says Wright, who has shot a special episode dedicated to Sikkim, for the series. “I learnt how to breathe correctly, paint with coloured sand, some meditation, play musical instruments… I cooked for 300 monks, you know the usual stuff,” he says, pokerfaced. At the end of it they “shaved his head and gave him the monk outfits.” The most thrilling moment of Wright’s stay, he recalls, was the time when he took the three monks who were teaching him the ropes of the patient business, on a helicopter ride. “They’d never been in one. I’ve never seen a look of absolute terror and excitement on one face at one time,” he says.
A fan of the country, Wright insists he doesn’t need an excuse to return to India. Having travelled extensively around the country over the years, he knows his way around. “The thing about this place is that you’ve got absolutely everything under the sun.
I love Darjeeling, the golden temple in Amritsar and Rajasthan,” says Wright, when asked to pick his favourite locations. But his tip to his English friends and global travellers coming to the subcontinent is simpler: “To truly experience India, take any town, find a spot to sit down for 24 hours at a stretch and watch the world go by. Just keep sipping some chai (tea) and you’ll probably leave that place having seeing everything there is to be seen and learnt.”