Meet Race Across The World contestants Betty and James

Betty and James
Betty and James. Credit: BBC/Studio Lambert Ltd

Betty (25, Social Media and Events Manager for a Gym) and James (21, Sales Consultant) from Yorkshire are sister and brother – one is well travelled, the other prefers partying in Magaluf. Barely in touch as adults, their hope is to share the experience of a lifetime.


Why did you want to take part in the series?

Betty: It’s a TV programme that we watch as a family, and I think during series one and two we were sat there like “we could definitely do this.” It got to the last week we could apply, and we thought “let’s just go for it.” We did the audition video very on a whim and filled out the form and here we are.

I think it was kind of my idea, I got the application thing going and James got dragged along for the journey.

James: You said a few times, there’s other people you should’ve taken but they’re not here or couldn’t do it!

What made you travel with the person that you’re travelling with?

Betty: I think I definitely chose James. I think it was because we’d always watched the show as a family, I’ve never really spoken about it with my friends, so I think it was the more natural decision to go for.

James: I don’t think I’d have probably chosen Betty. But the thing is I never really thought about applying, obviously we’d said we could do it but it never really crossed my mind to actually go for it. I guess Betty’s got that “why not? Let’s try it” mentality whereas I maybe wouldn’t have actually applied by myself.

Have you got a strategy going into the race?

James: No. I think it’s probably for the best as I thought it would be better to keep a clear head. It’s so unknown there’s no point really trying to make a fixed plan because it could change in an instant. So, we’ll try to keep it logical: when it gets to it, don’t do anything rash do everything with measure but, we also have no set plan.


Betty: Absolutely not. I think part of our strategy is just being nice to people, speaking to locals and using the fact that we are approachable and can speak to people as a sort of tool, I suppose. But in terms of a set plan, no. Also, coming from Yorkshire, naturally our motto is ‘it’ll be reet’. ‘Our nanna has a motto she says for everything and especially if there are any challenges in the family she always says ‘onwards and upwards’ no matter what it is. It could be something that we think is the worst thing ever and she’ll just go “onwards and upwards” So, we’ll be keeping that in mind in the race, definitely.

Have you picked up any tips from previous series?

Betty: Well, the one tip that I had thought about, that I’ve completely forgotten to do anyway, is to bring whiteboard. But since I completely forgot that’s that one out the window!

James: I think it’s just confidence, as it’s just helpful in most aspects of the race really. Just being confident when speaking to people or even being confident in challenging each other, so you get to a mutual decision as quickly as possible.

How competitive are you both? Are you in it to win it?

James: I am. Betty doesn’t like to admit it, she doesn’t want to say it or come across too cocky or arrogant but I think we’ve got a good chance. Everyone’s got an equal chance at the beginning, don’t they? But especially once we get going and settle into the first week and figure out how it’s going to work, I think we could definitely put up a fight. We’re both very competitive.

We’ve grown up in sports backgrounds and that’s all you do in sport isn’t it? Try and win. I grew up playing quite a lot: football, cricket, tennis. Mostly cricket till a few years ago, I still play football but it’s very much a weekend ruin-er if you lose on Saturday.

Betty: I played rugby for Yorkshire when I was younger and then I was doing ballroom and Latin dancing at the same time but I kind of had to pick one because they didn’t go together, and I picked dancing. My dance teachers used to be fuming because I used to turn up to dance competitions covered in bruises, so I had to choose one. I think the last rugby match I played I ended up in a neck brace and I thought “that’ll do”. So, I stopped playing sport at kind of 16, 17 but sports been your life really.


James: We just want to complete the race. We don’t want to get chucked off or eliminated or anything.

Race Across The World airs Wednesday nights on BBC One and iPlayer.