Two comedians go on a fitness adventure in new BBC reality series

2017-08-03 12:19

Cape Town – Self-confessed fitness fanatic and stand-up comedian Joel Dommett puts his fitness to the ultimate test in BBC's new adventure reality show. 

His mate, comic Nish Kumar joins him on his quest as they travel from Kenya to Mongolia, visiting six diverse communities.

In Tribal Bootcamp exclusive to BBC Earth (DStv 184) Joel will see whether his rigorous gym routine will stand the test against ancient forms of exercise. 

While Joel will put his body through strenuous regimes, Nish on the other hand will provide commentary about the culture and also participate in challenges when necessary. 

Watch a teaser here:

The duo were in South Africa to promote the show at the BBC Worldwide Upfront and gave us a taste of what to expect.

They have been friends for over ten years and their camaraderie makes for entertaining viewing. 

"Everyone keeps asking if we're really friends," says Joel.

"Wait, you mean to tell me people on TV aren't friends. Are the friends on Friends not friends," jokes Nish.

Joel was an easy fit for the show as there aren't many comedians who would be able to do the fitness elements.

But he couldn't do it alone. When production asked him for a list of people who would be a good companion Nish was at the top of his list. Nish didn’t get it right away though; they made him sweat a bit. 

"I know we look like a mismatched duo, I like to read while Joel is into physical exertion," says Nish.

Joel adds: "I don’t think I could have done it with someone else other than Nish. He has the same optimistic spirit that I have."


In the show the pair visit Maasai warriors in Africa, Tagbanua in Philippines, The Xante tribe in the Brazilian rainforest and Shaoilin monks to name a few. 

Joel had quite an awakening at their first stop in Mongolia.

"I got body slammed by a 13-year-old. I can’t tell you how hard I tried. It was cold, I was in tiny blue pants, my body felt like it was breaking down and I was being body slammed by a bunch of kids."

The most gruelling challenge for Joel was a 40km run in a mountain terrain in Mexico. 

While he was running he started crying because it was just so hard, and that's when Nish stepped in. 

"I did two laps with him in my underpants for moral support. It's a custom there, the moral support part not the underpants bit," says Nish. 

When Joel crossed the finish line with tears streaming down his face and the villagers cheering it was one of the best moments of his life. 


Nish says the entire experience left a permanent mark on him.

"I'm a classic lefty liberal guy seeing how people are supposed to live on the planet. The discrepancy between how we live and how they live was a huge jolt for me."

While Joel says he was blown away by how happy everyone was. 

"Nobody wanted a complicated life. They're fully aware of modern living. But they choose to live this way. "

He continues: "It was one of the best experiences of my life and by far one of the most amazing things I have ever done."

Catch Tribal Bootcamp on Sunday, 6 August at 16:00 on BBC Earth (DStv 184).

(Photos: BBC)

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