Cast revealed for Pilgrimage 2024 on BBC

The cast of Pilgrimage 2024 pose for a group photo on top of a hill
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TV show Pilgrimage is back for 2024 with The Road to Wild Wales airing on BBC Two and iPlayer in March.

Marking the return for series six, this year Pilgrimage will see seven celebrities of diverse faiths and beliefs embark on a modern-day pilgrimage along the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way.

Spanning three 60-minute episodes, the series will document their emotional journey towards Bardsey Island, the mythical ‘Island of 20,000 saints’, located off the Llyn Peninsula’s western tip.

Pilgrimage will start on BBC One on Friday, 29 March at 9PM on BBC Two. The three-episode series will be released on BBC iPlayer the same date with episodes continuing weekly on TV.

Meet the cast of Pilgrimage

The group of seven taking part are:

  • Wildlife presenter Michaela Strachan, who finds her faith in the natural world
  • Spencer Matthews, the former reality TV star and entrepreneur, exploring spiritual questions beyond his Church of England upbringing
  • Journalist and TV presenter Sonali Shah, raised in a Jain household
  • Comedian Eshaan Akbar, a lapsed Muslim
  • Amanda Lovett, a practising Catholic and breakout star from the BBC’s The Traitors
  • Actor Tom Rosenthal, known for his role in Channel 4’s Friday Night Dinner and identifying as ‘areligious’
  • TV personality Christine McGuinness, who embraces spirituality without adhering to a single faith.

The celebs taking part in the sixth series

Pilgrimage: The Road Through North Wales,3,29-03-2024,15

Amanda Lovett said: “The pilgrimage has been totally different to what I expected it to be. I never thought for one minute I’d leave this pilgrimage ready to let my mother go. I’m ready now; after five years I’m going to take her ashes to Ireland and then her soul is free to walk with me or she can go and dance and Irish jig up there, thinking yes, she’s letting me go.”

Christine McGuinness said: “I have never been religious, I’ve been more spiritual, but I left the pilgrimage with stronger feelings of believing in faith, as in having faith in others, having faith in the universe, and having faith in myself.”

Eshaan Akbar said: “I was already quite steadfast in what I believed – the pilgrimage further confirmed that our souls/energies persist well beyond the minutiae and prescription of following an organised religion.”

Michaela Strachan said: “It was an amazing experience and it was an amazing time for me to do it. Last year was a very sad year, with a lot of heartache, so I needed to process grief and reconnect. Doing something like this gave me that opportunity.”

Pilgrimage: The Road Through North Wales group photo

Sonali Shah said: “I realised that the way I live my life has more influences from Jainism than I had consciously thought about before the pilgrimage – things like kindness, compassion, vegetarianism and fasting.”

Spencer Matthews said: “I went in with a completely open mind, eager to learn and to take on information and experiences, regardless of how stereotypically different they may feel to me and my lifestyle. So, I knew I would come out more rounded. I wasn’t expecting it to be as impactful as it was.”

Tom Rosenthal said: “I enjoyed pilgrimage very much. It was an absolute privilege. We were very vulnerable with each other. We had fascinating conversations. I’ve learned a lot about other people and in doing so, a lot about myself in relation to other people. We are all strengthened by each other, and you can learn off every single person. And we had a lot of fun!”

The pilgrimage route, established in 2011, connects ancient churches dedicated to early Christian Celtic saints.

It winds through Wales’ breathtaking natural landscapes, including the Eryri mountain ranges, known as Snowdonia, and the North Wales coastal path. Over two weeks, the pilgrims will journey 220km starting from Flint Castle by the Dee Estuary, moving along the coastal path to Greenfield Valley, where the official pilgrimage begins.

Their trek through North Wales will challenge them with rugged paths and steep climbs across beautiful mountainous terrains, including an ascent of Yr Wydffa (Mount Snowdon), the highest peak in England and Wales.

With their belongings on their backs, the group will experience a variety of accommodations, from caravans and climbers’ huts to an eco-retreat in an ancient oak forest and a Buddhist meditation centre.

Their destination, Bardsey Island or Ynys Enlli, has historical significance as a spiritual retreat for early Christian monks and hermits, revered as a sacred site where the veil between the physical and spiritual worlds is thin. The crossing to Bardsey Sound is famously treacherous, posing a final obstacle to the pilgrims’ journey.

Pilgrimage: The Road to Wild Wales starts on BBC Two and iPlayer on 29 March.