Next Episode of The Real Marigold on Tour is
Inspired by their stay in India, actress Miriam Margolyes, dancer Wayne Sleep, darts champion Bobby George and chef Rosemary Shrager are reunited once again, this time to road-test retirement in the places reputed to be the best in the world to grow old.
In this episode they travel to Florida, one of the retirement capitals of the world, with low taxes and yearlong warm weather. Visiting two different retirement villages at either end of the scale, the group join the millions of Americans who are seeing out their golden years in Florida's vast gated communities - a new kind of suburbia for the over 55s, with healthy activities, 24-hour security and no children.
The famous four start their trip north of Orlando in Oak Run, an affordable community for 7,000 residents enjoying daily exercise, hundreds of clubs and weekly bingo. Keen to know the locals, Wayne decides to start a dance class, Rosemary throws a party for the neighbours, and Miriam takes Bobby to the local gun shop, to learn that despite living in fortressed ‘Leisurevilles', retirees are in fact their best customers.
The group's second destination is an hour north of Miami. The Polo Club, marketed as the height of retired living and home to some of the richest senior citizens in the states, charges $85k per year to be a member. But arriving at their new luxury home soon divides opinion in the group, and their experience of what many residents here consider to be the idyllic lifestyle is not for everyone.
Barely an hour in to their stay a heated exchange ensues and Miriam learns that talking politics and real life with a bunch of blissfully happy retirees is never a good idea. Meanwhile, Rosemary is intrigued to know how the Polo Club members appear to look so young, and she decides to visit a local cosmetic surgeon in a bid to hold back the years.
For the second part of their adventure the group go East to experience living like Japanese retirees. Miriam Margolyes, Wayne Sleep, Bobby George and Rosemary Shrager travel to Japan, which in 2015 had the second-highest life expectancy in the world - in search of the secrets to longevity.
In the historic city of Kyoto, they move into a homestay with 73 year-old twin sisters, Setsu and Fumie. Struggling with Japanese etiquette, Miriam soon learns that being loud and breaking wind in public doesn't go down well here.
Keen to live like locals the group start their day with an early morning keep fit class, called Radio Taiso. Broadcast nationwide, thousands of elderly residents take part in a free exercise class to keep everything ticking over.
Living a long life isn't just down to keeping fit - retirees in Japan also work well in to their 70s and 80s. Inspired by their hosts, Bobby and Miriam look for work at a job centre specifically geared to finding gainful employment for OAPs. For Bobby, this is the first job interview of his life, and for Miriam, it's a chance to reflect on what she'd still like to achieve. The pair are employed to work in a gift shop, while Rosemary and Wayne get a job in one of the busiest noodle bars in Kyoto.
Another pastime enjoyed by most senior citizens is a long soak in the hot springs dotted around the country. But unlike the spas Miriam and Rosemary are used to back home, this therapeutic remedy is traditionally done naked with everyone else bathing with you. Horrified at the thought, the ladies have to decide just how authentic they want their trip to be.
Inspired by the Japanese attitudes to keeping the body and brain active, eating the right food and finding employment, the group are heading home with lessons learned about how to live out their golden years.
Miriam Margolyes(Miriam Margolyes)
Rosemary Shrager(Rosemary Shrager)
Wayne Sleep(Wayne Sleep)
Bobby George(Bobby George)
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