Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen opens up on ‘grumpy’ Pilgrimage co-stars ‘Less easy to forgive’

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen opens up on ‘grumpy’ Pilgrimage co-stars ‘Less easy to forgive’

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Interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, former England cricketer Monty Panesar, TV personality Nick Hewer, reality TV star Scarlett Moffatt, Emmerdale’s Louisa Clein, comedian Shazia Mirza and Paralympian Will Bayley set off on a BBC Pilgrimage across Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland on Friday. However, speaking to and other press, Laurence teased there were moments where he and his co-stars were “grumpy” with each other. 

The celebrities start in Donegal, in western Ireland and trace the routes of St Columba who helped spread Christianity through the British Isles. 

In a recent interview, Laurence revealed the pilgrims enjoyed each other’s company but there were heated points.

He explained: “There were moments where we were all quite grumpy every now and again.

“There was definitely a midpoint in the journey where it was less easy to be as understanding and forgiving about what other people were saying, particularly when booze got involved. 

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“But actually that’s a very strong part of what the experience needed to be.”

The Changing Rooms star explained he enjoyed finding out more about his fellow pilgrims’ religious beliefs. 

He continued: “You needed to get beyond that very British, surface and actually get under the skin of people’s personalities. 

“Everything we did, made us stronger, everything we experienced together, brought us further and further together.”

The pilgrims trek 1,600km on foot, by road and by sea retracing the monk’s steps. 

During the pilgrimage, the celebrities make their way to the Scottish Highlands. 

Laurence remarked: “I think the most powerful bit was when we actually got to Iona [in Scotland] without a doubt.

“That was a surprise because we were always very aware of the fact that this wasn’t a very straightforward route that we were buzzing all over the place.”

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“It was a surprise to see how excited and serious we all were when we got to the church on Iona,” he shared. 

“And it was a very, very powerful service as well there was a wonderful sense of spiritual and physical closure to what we’ve done.”

During the series, the celebrities open up about their religious beliefs and what they hope to take away from the trek.

Laurence is a self-confessed non-conforming pagan and cricket legend Monty is a practising Sikh.

Meanwhile, Louisa wants to explore her Jewish identity and Scarlett realises how important her Christian faith is to her. 

Pilgrim Shazia is a Muslim, Will a lapsed Christian and Nick an agnostic. 

The celebrities follow ancient paths and heritage walking trails as they learn about each other’s faiths.

Pilgrimage: The Road to the Scottish Isles airs on BBC Two on Friday at 9pm.

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