Monday, January 3, 2011
British TV, film and stage actress Joanna Lumley ("Absolutely Fabulous," "The New Avengers") is on the trip of a lifetime: exploring the longest river in the world, the Nile, from sea to source. "Joanna Lumley's Nile" finds her traveling in the direction of the earliest explorers as she journeys along Africa's "life line," visiting the people who live and work along this famous river today. Experiencing five different countries, Joanna crosses some of the most inhospitable landscapes on Earth: from deserts where ancient civilizations once ruled to jungles where Victorian explorers underwent unspeakable suffering.
A Chat With Joanna
Read an interview with Joanna about her filming of "Joanna Lumley's Nile."
Episode One: Airs Tuesday, January 4, 2011 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV
In this first program Joanna follows the Nile through Egypt capturing the spirit of Agatha Christie in Cairo and later on a Nile cruise. She travels by train, road and Felucca barge, discovering life as it is today along one of the world’s greatest rivers. The program ends in Aswan, a town the Victorians viewed as “being on the edge of civilization” which is how Joanna feels as she contemplates the next stage of her journey — the dry, remote deserts of northern Sudan.
Episode Two: Airs Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV
Joanna follows the Nile into the remote deserts of northern Sudan, meeting a survivor of a crocodile attack and going in search of the legendary beast herself. In Karima, Joanna is introduced to the treasures of Nubia, an ancient African kingdom ruled by the little-known black pharaohs. Making her way to Khartoum she stops en route to meet a family of nomads who eke out a harsh existence in the remote sub-Saharan environment.
Episode Three: Airs Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV
Joanna reaches Khartoum, the capital of Sudan and the confluence of the Blue Nile and the White Nile. She observes the city’s famous whirling dervishes, and enjoys the ‘dukhan’ — a traditional beauty treatment for women. On a detour high into Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains she encounters an unusual group of Olympic hopefuls.
Episode Four: Airs Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV
On the final part of her journey in Southern Sudan Joanna flies over the world’s largest swamp, the Sudd. And in the main town of Juba she finds that a fragile peace process has brought about a re-emergence of beauty pageants. From Juba, Joanna heads into Uganda where she follows the White Nile up to the famed Murchison Falls. Finally, she meets a modern-day adventurer who shows her a recently discovered new source of the Nile high in the mountains of Rwanda — 4,199 miles from her starting point.