Why Race Across The World couldn’t go through China

Race Across The World fans have the same question after Wednesday's episode

Race Across The World couldn't film in China for this series
Race Across The World couldn't film in China for this series. (BBC screengrab)

Why weren't Race Across The World's contestants able to travel through China?

It was the question all the Race Across The World fans were asking after watching episode three on Wednesday, where one team was eliminated. Contestants must make the epic journey on camera from Japan to Lombok on a tight budget but China was deliberately missed out.

Flights are banned during Race Across The World filming but there have been a few exceptions to the rule, including in Wednesday's episode where the contestants were flown from Sokcho to the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.

The contestants were told they couldn't travel through China but no further explanation was offered by the BBC. Almost immediately social media was flooded with people asking if anyone knew why China had been left out of the show's route.

Leading the questions, one person wrote: "Anyone know why China was pulled out of #RaceAcrossTheWorld ? Bit strange. Guessing filming or visa issues?"

Others said: "Why was there no proper explanation from @BBCOne @BBC why #RaceAcrossTheWorld wasn't able to go through China? CCP not keen on people travelling where they want with a camera crew by any chance?"

"@RATW_official How come they had to avoid China? #RATW #RaceAcrossTheWorld."

"There any reason cited why #RaceAcrossTheWorld had to skip China and bypass it to go to Vietnam?"

"How intriguing, I wonder why they had to skip China. They went through China in the 1st series #RaceAcrossTheWorld."

Race Across the World broke a major rule in this week's leg. (BBC screengrab)
Race Across the World broke a major rule in this week's leg. (BBC screengrab)

"Why can’t they go through China? It would be nice to know! #RaceAcrossTheWorld."

"I am really disappointed the show decided not to go through China, and fly to the next destination. The working title of the show was called 'flightless'. What is the point of the show if they decide to fly places they don't want to go to? #RaceAcrossTheWorld."

"I wonder why they couldn't race through China? I'm guessing it's a security thing. #RaceAcrossTheWorld."

Race Across the World's Alfie and Owen come first in this leg
Race Across the World's Alfie and Owen come first in this leg. (Studio Lambert)

Following Wednesday's episode, Race Across The World bosses have revealed the reason as to why China had been left out of the route.

A Race Across The World spokesperson told Yahoo: "At the time of planning the route, due to time constraints and difficulties in travel in the aftermath of the global pandemic, it was not possible for production to travel through China and so a flight was organised from Seoul to Hanoi."

While filming in China wasn't possible this time, it's a destination that will still be considered for future Race Across The World series.

It's not the first time where contestants have had to take a flight which has been organised by the Race Across The World bosses. Huge fans of the show will remember in series two when contestants had to catch a flight over Ecuador because of civil unrest at the time.

There is no unfair advantage when the contestants have to take a flight during Race Across The World. The goal posts of the competition remain the same. The contestants depart in the same order they arrived at the last checkpoint as seen in the episode. They also leave with the same time gaps, meaning everything remains the same other than they are leaving from the airport instead of the checkpoint.

Best friends Alfie and Owen triumphed at the end of episode three when they got to the checkpoint first beating Eugenie and Isabel, who had won the first two legs. The friends had come second in the previous two legs.

Race Across The World fans were disappointed to say goodbye to mother and daughter duo Sharon and Brydie who come in fifth place.

Watch Race Across The World at 9pm on BBC1.