TV preview: Joanna Lumley’s India

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Joanna Lumley returns to the land of her birth for a deeply personal journey around the vibrant and unique country of India.

Born during the last days of the Raj, both sides of her family called India home for several generations and, in this series, she travels the length and breadth of the country, for an immersive and extraordinary exploration of its diverse landscapes, varying cultural traditions and incomparable spirit.

In the first episode, Joanna travels from the very south of the country all the way to the foothills of the Himalayas. In Madurai she explores the multi-coloured and dazzling Meenakshi temple which comes alive at night with religious celebration.

At the Western Ghats, she meets old friend Robin Brown who has spent half his life travelling through India on his beloved motorbike. Robin takes Joanna for a hair-raising ride on the winding road to the Valparai Plateau. Robin instructs Joanna not to wobble and she replies: “I’m not going to do any wobbling. I was trained in The Avengers if you remember?”

Her journey ends four hundred miles north of Calcutta, in Sikkim, at the foot of the Himalayas. Her grandfather remained stationed here for many years and it is where her mother grew up.

Joanna Lumley’s India, Wednesday, ITV, 9pm