Joanna Lumley filmed her latest travel series Joanna Lumley’s Spice Trail Adventurepremiered in the UK.
The four-part series through the largest spice continents of the world visits Indonesia, Zanzibar and Jordan, India and Madagascar.
It begins on the remote Indonesian island, Banda, which was once the only place on earth where nutmeg grew, before traveling to its birthplace of India in search of the black gold.
The next stop is the African island of Madagascar, on the trail of the second most expensive spice in the world, vanilla, before the vast plains of Wadi Rum in Jordan by camel and the ancient city of Petra.
“The original idea was to follow the history of spices, because in this country now we can get every spice under the sun and enjoy it with them,” she said.
“But before, we just had salt, pepper and mustard and that was it. For this trip we thought, let’s see where all these amazing spices come from and how they got to this country and the history of that. We had done the silk road adventure and so we called this series the spice trail, because there is something about spices, which are usually ground into a powder when we get them, that made a wonderful sense of tracking them.
But there was also a dark side to the spice trade.
“We all know about colonialism that has been going on since the beginning of time. Someone who goes somewhere else and says, “I like what you have, I’ll take it.” In those days people were killed and treated abominably like slaves. It was a very violent and terrible time and seeing paintings of him on this trip broke my heart. But it was in every country in the world. It was important for us to recognize that in this series.”
An Australian premiere has yet to be announced.