The Real Marigold Hotel – not the Judi Dench film, the travel documentary that jets eight ageing celebrities across to India to see whether they’d consider retiring on the other side of the world – is moving from BBC2 to BBC1 with a new cast next year.

Bill Oddie, actress Amanda Barrie, snooker champion Dennis Taylor, entertainer Lionel Blair, TV personality Rustie Lee, This Morning’s Doctor Miriam Stoppard, Paul Nicholas from ‘80s sitcom Just Good Friends, and singer Sheila Ferguson will all star in the second series.

There’s also going to be a two-part Christmas special of the show on BBC2 that will catch up with familiar faces from the first series of the Real Marigold Hotel. Actress Miriam Margolyes, dancer Wayne Sleep, darts champion Bobby George and chef Rosemary Shrager will be on tour, testing out retirement around the globe, from Florida to Japan. 

Series one, first broadcast on BBC Two last year, became a hit with audiences, drawing in a series average of 4.1 million viewers. Series one also went on to win the prestigious Rose d’Or Award.

Patrick Holland, Channel Editor BBC Two, said: Marigold proved to be an instant breakthrough. Who would have thought that a show about retirement would become such a hit with audiences young and old?

“Moving to BBC One means we have the space on BBC Two to commission new series like Second Chance Summer and Life and Death in a Week. I wish the next wonderful group of senior travellers every success in their new home."

The Real Marigold Hotel returns 2017