Who’s taking part in Pilgrimage: The Road to Wild Wales?

A new batch of celebrity guests are set to set off on a spiritual trek in Pilgrimage: The Road to Wild Wales

Christine McGuinness, Eshaan Akbar, Sonali Shah, Tom Rosenthal, Michaela Strachan, Spencer Matthews, and Amanda Lovett are taking part in the latest Pilgrimage. (BBC)
Christine McGuinness, Eshaan Akbar, Sonali Shah, Tom Rosenthal, Michaela Strachan, Spencer Matthews, and Amanda Lovett are taking part in the latest Pilgrimage. (BBC)

A new batch of celebrities will soon embark on a spiritual journey across the Welsh landscape all while dissecting what faith means to them in Pilgrimage: The Road to Wild Wales.

This three-part series is the latest edition of the popular BBC Two series Pilgrimage. First airing in 2018, it’s a show that invites famous faces with a range of different religious and spiritual beliefs to retrace the steps of world-renowned historical pilgrimages.

Guests travel together using their time spent trekking to engage in discussions about faith and different religious traditions. Previous instalments have included guests like Neil Morrissey, Katy Brand, Les Dennis, Stephen K Amos and Scarlett Moffat with the new series gathering another group of well-known people to take part.

Here’s everything you need to know about Pilgrimage: The Road To Wild Wales ahead of its impending return.

When can I watch Pilgrimage: The Road to Wild Wales?

Pilgrimage: The Road to Wild Wales will be available to watch from Friday, 29 March on BBC Two.

The series will consist of three, hour-long episodes each of which will be available to view on-demand via BBC iPlayer where all of the show’s previous series can also be found.

Who is taking part in Pilgrimage: The Road to Wild Wales?

The latest series of Pilgrimage: The Road to Wild Wales will feature seven different celebrities, each with a different religious or spiritual background.

Their walk will take them across the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way, a journey with links to Celtic and early Christian saints. It'll see the seven participating celebrities pass ancient churches, areas of outstanding natural beauty like Snowdonia and the North Wales coastal path, and traverse tricky terrain all while carrying their own supplies and sleeping provisions.

Their 220km trek will conclude by inviting participants to make the perilous crossing of Bardsey sound to land on Bardsey Island, a place that was once inhabited by early Christian monks and hermits.

Guests on Pilgrimage: The Road to Wild Wales include:

Tom Rosenthal | Age: 36 | Religious background: Areligous

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 05:  Tom Rosenthal attends the Build LDN event with the cast of
Tom Rosenthal describes himself as 'Areligious'. (Getty Images)

Best known for his roles on comedies like Friday Night Dinner and Plebs, actor and comedian Tom Rosenthal is entering into Pilgrimage: The Road to Wild Wales with an open mind.

“I’ve always been interested by anybody with any thoughts as to what it is we are all doing here,” he says.

“It’s fairly confusing and if I spend all my time watching Arsenal and the The Traitors I’m never going to find out. Dedicating myself to a pilgrimage for two weeks is a wonderful opportunity to reflect upon my spirituality and to make a TV show my grandmother will actually enjoy watching.”

Amanda Lovett | Age: 56 | Religious Background: Catholic

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 18: Amanda Lovett attends the Gala Performance of
Amanda Lovett is a Catholic. (Getty Images)

Audiences will no doubt recognise Amanda Lovett from the first series of The Traitors. She joined Pilgrimage’s sixth series to do a bit of soul-searching.

“They say that if you go on a pilgrimage, there’s a hope that by the end of it there will have been some sort of realisation, so I’m looking forward to finding mine! I do have a strong Catholic faith. I still pray, and I believe there’s an afterlife, but I’m excited to explore other people’s faiths and religions and how they view life,” she explains.

“I’ve always been the mum, the gran, the worker, and I sort of forgot about me. I’ve done school runs for 32 years, and I’ve found my time now. I’m looking forward to learning about myself, digging deep and processing and seeing how I’ll evolve in the future.”

Michaela Strachan | Age: 57 | Religious Background: Places her faith in the natural world

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 18: Michaela Strachan attends a Gala Screening of
Michaela Strachan places her beliefs in the natural world. (WireImage)

Iconic presenter and wildlife and environmental advocate Michaela Strachan places her faith in the earth itself. She joins this year’s series to take some time out from the hectic nature of daily life and hopefully find some solace.

“I think this pilgrimage is going to be really good for me. These days we all tend to live busy, complicated lives, and what I love about walking, is all you’ve got to think about is putting one foot in front of the other. I find it very cathartic, it's my form of meditation,” she suggests.

“There’s a simplicity to just walking. Walking, thinking, taking time to connect with nature. I guess that's my form of spiritual engagement.”

Spencer Matthews | Age: 35 | Religious Background: Christened Church of England but is still searching for answers to life’s big questions

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 24: Spencer Matthews attends the World premiere of
Spencer Matthews is looking for answers. (Getty Images for Universal Pictures)

Spencer Matthew is best known for his time on The Only Way is Essex. He readily admits that his belief background is a little sparse but he’s open to adventure and experiencing new ways of viewing things.

“A pilgrimage is when you walk and sleep on church floors and eat dead rats and stuff, which I’m looking forward to,” said Matthews. "I’d be pretty low in the faith knowledge bracket, but I’m on a quest to broaden my knowledge and religious horizons.

“I’m an open mind, an open book. I want to learn about different faiths, cultures and religions and develop a firm understanding of my faith and how it can potentially play a larger role in my life.”

Christine McGuinness | Age: 35 | Religious Background: Spiritual but doesn’t practice a particular faith

LONDON, -, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/10/28: Christine McGuinness on the red carpet at The Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards, in partnership with TSB, at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Christine McGuinness doesn't practice a particular faith. (Getty Images)

Model and TV personality Christine McGuinness doesn’t have a specific faith that she assigns her beliefs to but she’s entering the show for personal reasons and with an open mind.

“Since my autism diagnosis, it’s really made me want to grab opportunities with both hands. I want to say yes to more things, things that I would always say no to, because I find socialising quite awkward,” she admits.

“I don’t really like being pushed out of my comfort zone, but I’m realising more and more that I want to live, I want to do more things, I want to have good memories, I want to make friends, I want to learn more about other people, and the only way I can do that is by pushing myself a bit.”

Eshaan Akbar | Age: 39 | Religious Background: Lapsed Muslim

Comedian, actor and writer Eshaan Akbar openly admits that his spiritual beliefs have lapsed and he doesn’t even really like walking. His decision to join the show is motivated by fun… but he can’t promise that he’ll enjoy every step of the journey.

“Why am I doing this pilgrimage? I’ll be honest, I think it’ll be fun, believe it or not. I’m not a great fan of walking without a purpose, I don’t like hikes, I don’t like going up and down different types of terrain, I don’t like sleeping in uncomfortable situations,” he says.

“My immigrant parents worked way too hard for me to start fetishising poverty by choosing to make my life too difficult. I’m really looking forward to the experience but I can’t promise that I won’t moan for most of it.”

Sonali Shah | Age: 43 | Religious Background: Raised in a Jain household

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 19: Sonali Shah attends the London Multimedia event for Walt Disney Animation Studios',
Sonali Shah was raised in a Jain household. (Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures UK)

Audiences will recognise Sonali Shah as the presenter of the BBC’s Escape to the Country. She’s also the host of the Sunday Breakfast show on Magic FM. Coming from a Jain background, she joins the show in a search for answers to her children’s growing questions about religion.

“It felt like the opportunity of going on a pilgrimage like this came at the right time in my life. I grew up in a liberal Jain, East African Indian household in North-West London, where faith, race and culture were very intertwined,” says Shah.

“While I have always been comfortable with who I am and the way I live, in recent years, with my kids asking more questions, I realised that using the word agnostic hasn't been quite right. I was also curious about what, if anything, I could add to the party as someone who was born into a faith that many people have never heard of...”

Pilgrimage: The Road to Wild Wales is coming to BBC Two and BBC iPlayer in Friday, 29 March.