Friends break record on TV’s Coach Trip

Carol Rhodes and Bill Coupe both appeared on Channel 4's Coach Trip.
Carol Rhodes and Bill Coupe both appeared on Channel 4's Coach Trip.

They may have broken the record for the shortest stint on the show – but two best friends said their time on Channel 4’s Coach Trip was one to remember.

Carol Rhodes and Bill Coupe, both of North Bank Road, were seen joining the programme earlier this week, but only lasted a day after Carol was taken ill.

The show is hosted by flamboyant tour guide Brendan Sheerin who takes seven couples on a trip of a lifetime across the world.

Fan of the show Carol, 68, said: “We actually filmed it last October and the day before we were set to join, the group had a self defence class.

“The instructor tried a move out on Brendan, threw him and cracked his ribs. It had a real big knock-on effect as Brendan was sent to hospital.”

Bill, 70, added: “One of the contestants took over and the coach moved on, then waited for Brendan to catch up. We were sitting waiting in a cafe in Turin for most of the day.”

The pair were finally introduced to the group and visited a world famous ancient Egyptian museum.

But just 45 minutes after meeting the couples, they were asked to vote for the pair they wished to leave.

Bill said: “It was a really difficult situation as you cannot form an opinion of someone in that time. But after all that, we finally got back to the hotel after being on our feet for 22 hours.”

As the couples wound down for the evening, disaster struck as Carol was taken ill.

She said: “I did not feel well at all. I was dehydrated, had high blood pressure and my heart was really going. Bill spoke with the crew and next thing I knew I was being taken to hospital.” She was kept in overnight and released the following morning, but the pair were told they would not be returning to the show as a safety precaution. At least we never got voted off,” joked Carol. We have been watching the programme this week and when you see some of the activities, we would have loved to do them.

“We would like to be considered again and give it another go. It would be a one off to be brought back.”

Despite their brief spell on the show, Bill said the response had been really positive. He said: “I was stopped by a man in the street asking if I’d been on the telly, then I went for a coffee in Tesco and a woman on the next table asked if I had been on Coach Trip. We would just love to have another go. Brendan, the crews and everyone else were smashing and we’d like to have the full experience.”