Race Across the World winners Elaine and Tony have revealed the series one and two casts were supposed to be uniting at Jamiul’s wedding in March – and then coronavirus got in the way. 

Last year’s champions have been in regular contact with the 2020 line-up ahead of tonight’s finale, which sees either Jo and Sam, Jen and Rob, Dom and Lizzie or Jamiul and Emon cross the finish line and bag the £20,000 prize. 

The most comforting show on TV is just as wholesome off-camera, which is no surprise, as the contestants both past and present are all one big collective who fill each other up with love, support and encouragement just when you couldn’t have been more enamored with the unbeatable kindness which makes Race Across The World a firm favourite to those in the know.

Retired PE teachers Elaine and Tony took inspiration from their three children who all embarked on gap years to embark on an adventure of their own. Little did they know they’d make friendships which will likely last a lifetime. 

‘The bond with everyone from series one is still so close,’ Tony told Metro.co.uk. 

‘We’ve got together a couple of times and we will in the future. We were all really looking forward to Jamiul’s wedding. It’s one of those sorts of things when you’ve been through this experience it’s hard to explain to people how pressurised it really is. 

‘We’re in touch with everyone from this series too,’ said Elaine. ‘We were intending to get together with all of the contestants but coronavirus put a stop to that. 

‘Jamiul was supposed to be getting married in March and we were all going to that. There’s talk of us all getting together but this is going to go on for a while.’ 

Naturally, Race Across The World only gave Elaine and Tony a greater hunger to leave no stone unturned, picking up their backpacks and setting off on more adventures, roughing it like two twentysomethings with pennies in their pockets despite boosting their bank balance substantially by beating father and son duo Alex and Darron at the final hurdle in series one. 

‘The minute we got home I wanted to sell everything we have and just travel for the rest of our lives,’ said Elaine. ‘But coronavirus has changed all that. There’s no one who likes to travel more than I do but with coronavirus I think for the greater good it’s better people don’t, for the environment and for health risks.’

Although, actually they barely kept any of their winnings – buying two electric bikes ‘which are really handy right now’ says Elaine, and giving the rest to their family and charity. 

‘We invited our grandkids and three children to watch the final episodes; they didn’t know we’d won so we cracked open all the champagne and got the cash out and we chucked it all up the air. The kids got what they could and we gave some to charity. 

‘It just went because we didn’t expect it.’ 

‘The winning was awesome but it’s the actual journey you remember and the people,’ agreed Tony. 

‘We used to go on holidays for a week or two, drinking by the pool, but we could never do that again. 

‘We’re in fortunate position where we can explore somewhere for a few months but we do it by camping, staying in hostels with young people who look after us. We just loved the roughness of it all. It does change you massively as a person and a couple. We could never go on holiday and stay in the same place.’ 

Obviously, for Tony and Elaine life has changed infinitely. 

‘The social media goes mental and people ask us to sing them happy birthday and come up with questions for geographical quizzes and things like that,’ laughed Elaine. ‘People recognise us still but obviously we’re not going out at the moment.’

‘I think all that will come to a stop now,’ said Tony. ‘Series two has been such a good series, we’ll just drift.’


Race Across The World concludes tonight at 8pm on BBC Two. 

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