BBC confirm Race Across the World shake-up hours before final episode airs


The fourth season of BBC travel and adventure series Race Across the World comes to an end on Wednesday 29 May, but it has been announced that there will be a special extra episode immediately after the finale airs that gives fans a behind the scenes look at the making of the series.

The show, which began on April 10, has followed five two-person teams as they race across Eastern Asia, in the hope of winning a £20,000 grand prize. Each pair has to complete the 15,000km journey from Japan to Indonesia without using air travel, and with a budget of just £1390 per person – the equivalent air fare for travelling the race route. They can work for money or for bed and board during their trip, but have no access to the internet or telephones.

Owen and Alfie
Friends Owen and Alfie from Race Across the World -Credit:Studio Lambert
The Race Across the World finalists
The Race Across the World series 4 finalists -Credit:PA

During the series, the teams have travelled from Japan to South Korea, on to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia, with the final checkpoint being on the island of Lombok in the region. Each pair is accompanied by a camera crew of two, but the film crews are not allowed to interfere with the contestants choices or decisions en route.

One couple – mother and daughter Sharon and Brydie – has been eliminated from the competition, leaving four pairs to battle it out in Wednesday’s final: siblings Betty and James, friends Alfie and Owen, mother and daughter Eugenie and Isabel, and couple Stephen and Viv.

Race Across The World’s Instagram page has teased the special episode that will follow the final and the crowning of the winning pair. “For the first time ever, we're showing you how the race comes to life! See what happens behind the scenes in the #RaceAcrossTheWorld reunion, Wednesday at 10pm on BBC iPlayer, straight after the grand finale!”

James and Betty
Race Across the World contestants James and Betty -Credit:Studio Lambert

Fans were quick to comment on the announcement, with one saying: “I love this show and have always wanted to know what happens in the background with cameras, producers etc. Do participants have to account for the crew when they’re booking bus tickets, boats and taxis? Do the crew see that bags/maps have been left behind but can’t say anything? Can’t wait to watch it,” while another added: “Omg! I’ve been secretly wishing for a Making Of…”

It will certainly be a revealing watch, as filming the show is often as dramatic as what happens on screen. In previous series, there have been thefts of camera equipment, the crew arriving in Ecuador just as protests broke out, and civil unrest in Chile that led to one pair being evacuated to Argentina.