Karl Pilkington: A national hero (incudes some of his best quotes from his T.V show 'An idiot abroad')

When i heard Ricky Gervais and Steven Merchant had created a new show called 'An idiot abroad' i didn't think much to the overall idea. I thought it sounded mind numbingly boring and i presumed that it was just going to be another "reality" show clogging up the t.v schedue. I decided to give it a chance though as i've loved their previous work (The office in particular)

After watching the first episode i was hooked and couldn't wait for the next one. I should have known better than to doubt Merchant and Gervais, this was a reality travel show where the main character was as genuine and daft as he appeared.

The gist of the show was that Karl Pilkington, Ricky Gervais' good friend was to travel to all 7 of the world's wonders and give us his very unique outlook on the world whilst Gervais and Merchant put him in all kinds of sticky situations along the way. The result was unscripted laugh out loud comedy and made Karl a national hero.

During his 7 adventures he remarked that pyramids looked like a game of jenga that's got out of hand and likened the museum of Cairo to his Aunt Norah's house - having too many ornaments. Here are some of his other hilarious quotes from the series.

  • On the Great Wall – “You can see it for miles. Like, it goes over the hills and stuff ….but so does the M6″
  • “The only thing that would get on my nerves if I lived here (in a cave) is this sort of ‘open door policy’. Not having a door doesn’t help. Anyone you know could walk past and see that you’re in and keep nipping in”
  • “I was looking into it when I noticed I was surrounded by lizards. Big ones. I gave one of them a bit of a HobNob. It seemed to love it. It ended up eating two to itself. It’s odd to think the Mayans have probably never tried a Hobnob, yet this lizard had”
  • “I was woken around 3 a.m. by something outside. I thought it might have been someone trying to break in. It was a chicken. At two in the morning! What is a chicken doing awake at this hour?”
  • Karl sees Dolphins in the amazon river – “People say Dolphins are intelligent and that but they’ve never done anything that have blown me away. They say I’m a div and Dolphins are intelligent…It just baffles me.”
  • “The toilet is too far from the sink which isn’t what you need in India. Both are often required at the same time”
  • “If Camels are the ship of the dessert, this one is the Titanic”
  • On the Statue of ‘Christ The Redeemer’ – “The only thing that didn’t look in proportion was his chin. He looked like Jimmy Hill!”
  • I don’t know whether it was to put me off, but my Mum used to say, to be a Hells Angels you needed to s**t in your pants, and not change it for a week. After My mum said that about the Hells Angels, my Dad said “Well Auntie Nora would easily pass the entrance test"
  • I’ve heard that fact, that is you eat more than 6 bananas it will kill you. I saw a bowl with 7 bananas in it, and i thought, that’s dangerous.
  • “No wonder there is 30 per cent less oxygen here. I think it’s due to all the tourists climbing this hill.”
  • “It’s really grey here in China. Not really worth having this in HD is it?”


The comparisons between Karl and The Simpsons character Homer were drawn straight away and it's hard to argue with. He seems as close to real thing as you're likely to find. All that was missing was a donut (although he did take his monster munch or hobknobs on every trip)

I really hope it's not the last we see of Karl Pilkington on T.V as i genuinely feel he's got a lot more to offer. Just put him in some difficult situations and he will deliver the comedy, he just has that knack of being naturally funny without even trying, ok so sometimes we're laughing at him and not with him but he's still funny all the same.

If you haven't seen the series then i'd definitely recommend that you do. He's made to sleep a night in a cave, in a honeymoon suite with an en suite shed and sent to spend a night with a tribe of former cannibals amongst many other daft things. The part when he thinks he's actually been kidknapped in Israel is cruel and hilarious all in one, Gervais's constant baiting over the phone and Pilkingtons constant sulks all add together to make a truly brilliant T.V show and create a new television hero.


A clip from the show

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Comments 7 comments

michael ely profile image

michael ely 6 years ago from Scotland

Hi Fuller legend. Liked this hub. I watched a few of the episodes and they were really funny with his daft phrases and outlook on things. I also really like "The Office" and it was through the Gervais/Merchant connection that i first heard of Karl Pilkington. I've listened to their podcasts and it is really just the 2 of them winding up Karl through the whole show. Really funny. Michael.


Fuller_legend profile image

Fuller_legend 6 years ago from Stoke-On-Trent, England Author

Cheers for reading Michael. Glad you enjoyed it mate.


warchild75 profile image

warchild75 6 years ago from Worthing, west sussex, england

Good hub my friend,i loved the show,the best bit was where he was on the bus going to see the wall and the lady was sitting next to him and the geezer behind who was snorting and he said "that's the reason im wearing the bloody rain mack" legend!!


Fuller_legend profile image

Fuller_legend 6 years ago from Stoke-On-Trent, England Author

How's it going Warchild, thanks for the kind words mate. That was a funny part on the bus i agree, the looks he gave peope cracked me up. It would be criminal if he didn't go on to do anymore T.v in my opinion. Thanks for reading


warchild75 profile image

warchild75 6 years ago from Worthing, west sussex, england

yeah me and the wife were in tears laughing so hard at parts,bloody love it!!


Martyv25 5 years ago

Loved this show especially Egypt,Karl getting hassled to go in all the resturants. The one where Ricky Gervais arranged to have him kidnapped was hilarious.


Fuller_legend profile image

Fuller_legend 5 years ago from Stoke-On-Trent, England Author

martyv25: ha ha, he looked genuinely terrified didn't he? I think the only time he looked close to being comfortable was when he was floating in the red sea. I just hope he has something else lined up.

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