Travelling the world

Travelling the world

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Young Post Junior Reporters Adrien Yeung, Justin So, Summer Tse, Lucy Wong and Eu Khin-shwe talk to TV host Ian Wright

Ian Wright, the well-known television travel programme host, is again set to take audiences on a tour of the world's less trodden places in his new series.

Last Sunday, despite volcanic ash cancelling thousands of flights from Europe, Wright was in Hong Kong to promote his new show.

Speaking at Balalaika Russian restaurant in Central, the veteran TV presenter was poised, polished - and sunburnt, from spending a mere 10 minutes on the beach.

He jumped on stage and immediately launched into a dance, accompanied by the upbeat Russian music.

In his new series, Out of Bounds, Wright travels to a variety of unusual and off-the-track locations, including Sri Lanka, Cuba, Venezuela, Damascus in Syria, Siberia and Okinawa in Japan.

He says the programme is intended for audiences in the United States, many of whom think the places are 'no-go' destinations.

'When you talk of these places to American travellers, they say 'Oh, no! These places don't have much to see. They're not safe.' I wish to break myths and increase knowledge regarding rare places,' he said.

Even Sri Lanka, a magnificent country just starting to patch up its tourism industry after years of civil war, is unheard of by many Americans, Wright says.

His aim is to show the audience the world has more to offer than the typical safe, tried-and-tested areas, which Wright describes as 'boring' and 'where the food is three times more expensive than elsewhere'.

During the talk, Wright amused the audience with his jaunty humour, for which he is famous.

This was followed by an extensive Q&A session in which members of the audience asked questions about the new show and his global adventures.

When asked about his opinion of Hong Kong, Wright said he likes the 'infectious and extraordinary energy in the streets', which was 'vibrant, unique and special'.

During an interview afterwards, he said he would be happy to work for the Hong Kong tourism board.

The event closed with a high-paced game of Pictionary in which Wright drew pictures of people or events he had earlier mentioned in his account of his recent travels. The audience had to guess the location of the thing or person in each drawing.

If they got it right, winners received a picture with Wright, a Discovery Travel and Living goodies bag, and the autographed artwork that they had identified correctly.

Englishman Wright has been shooting television travel programmes for 10 years.

He says what keeps him going is his desire to show people the facades of different places.

'I want to make people feel better,' he said.

'I want to show the smell and flavour of different places to those who may not have the chance to go themselves.'

Watch Out of Bounds on the Discovery Travel and Living channel every Thursday from May 20.


(From left) Eu Khin-shwe, Ian Wright, Summer Tse, Adrien Yeung and Lucy Wong. Front: Justin So. Photo: May Tse

Five Young Post junior reporters gained real journalistic experience last Sunday by interviewing TV celebrity Ian Wright. From research, preparing questions and attending Wright's promotional event in Central, to finally interviewing him and writing their reports, the students found the work of reporters both exciting and mind-broadening. They share their thoughts and findings from the memorable assignment.

Eu Khin-shwe

The experience was down-'Wright' amazing. Never did I imagine that I would meet Ian Wright himself, let alone interview him. I was overwhelmed by the amount of information thrown at us, and it was a real challenge to select just one or two points.

It was initially a rather intimidating experience. I felt out of place, and almost regretted taking on such a big assignment. However, I realised this is what reporters must feel all the time.

Adrien Yeung

Ian Wright opened his promotional event by showing off extensive sunburn on his shoulders. Despite having travelled for many years, Wright joked that he had learned nothing. Wright talked about the places he had visited in an affable and casual manner, spontaneously inserting hilarious stories. His descriptions of places came to life thanks to his animated commentary.

This was a very valuable, if hectic, experience. I learned to prepare questions and conduct an interview focused around a main topic. It was my first real taste of journalism. It was so fascinating to meet Wright rather than see him on television in my living room. He offered some advice should we ever encounter a herd of reindeer: 'Pee in the snow' and you become 'friends for life'.

Summer Tse

I was lucky to meet Ian Wright and ask him questions. He was very friendly and tried his best to answer all the questions. In spite of his fame, he remains humble and carefree. When we asked him if he could describe himself in just three words, he surprised us with his answer: 'Pain in [bottom].' When asked to describe the type of paintings he enjoys doing, he said he was spontaneous and just went with his imagination. But he said he loves to paint English landscapes, with lots of colours.

He said: 'I text my friends [in London], and it's one of the best ways to keep contact with them.' He also said he loved to meet people from all over the world, but he did not keep in touch with all of them. 'It's nice to meet someone for a day,' he said.

Justin So

It was one of the best days of my life, meeting Ian Wright face to face. I felt really excited. For those who do not know Wright, he is a British adventurer and host of his new travel series Out Of Bounds. In the show, he visits places that cannot be found on the tourist map.

It was a great experience for all of us Young Post reporters as it helped develop our communication and interviewing skills. This was a once-in-a-lifetime chance. Thank you Young Post for this fabulous offer! It was the adventure of a lifetime.

Lucy Wong

I learned that being a travel journalist is not an easy job, as it leaves little time for family and friends. Then there is the jet lag. I also learned about Ian Wright's attitude, creativity and humour.

It was not easy to interview a famous globetrotter. Taking notes and feeling like a real reporter was exciting, but nerve-racking. As well as his new travel series, Wright spoke about his life. He thinks spending more than a year with someone would be boring and annoying - but added it is good to be bored, because we can reflect.

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