The Real Marigold Hotel Xmas special

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BBC Two has confirmed a two-part Christmas special for The Real Marigold on Tour, starring some familiar faces from the first series of The Real Marigold Hotel. Four of the original cast return to BBC Two as actress Miriam Margolyes, dancer Wayne Sleep, darts champion Bobby George and chef Rosemary Shrager test out different retirement communities around the world, travelling to Florida and Japan.

The series successfully premiered on BBC Two earlier this year with impressive ratings and critical acclaim. It’s the highest rating factual series on the channel this year with a series consolidated average of 4.1million/13.6 percent share, and was awarded a prestigious Rose d’Or Award.


The BBC has also announced the hit travel documentary series will move to BBC 1 when it returns to screens in early 2017.

The new cast of famous senior citizens embarking on a journey of a lifetime include entertainer Lionel Blair; actress Amanda Barrie, snooker champion Dennis Taylor; TV personality Rustie Lee; Doctor Miriam Stoppard; presenter Bill Oddie; singer Sheila Ferguson; and actor Paul Nicholas.

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Inspired by, but otherwise unrelated to the blockbuster film, the series documents the authentic experience of eight characters in their golden years as they head to India on an experimental adventure to see if they would consider retiring to the other side of the world. The new four part series will see the group travel thousands of miles from home and this time land in Kochi, a city in the southwest Indian state Kerala, to test whether they can set up a more rewarding retirement than in the UK.

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Top Employer Awards

Working Mums

Workingmums.co.uk has announced the winners of its seventh annual Top Employer Awards, celebrating the leading companies in gender diversity and flexible working.

The Awards, which took place in Workingmums.co.uk’s 10th anniversary year, were presented at a ceremony at London’s Soho Hotel on 1st November where the keynote speakers were MPs Jess Phillips and Flick Drummond, joint chairs of the all-party parliamentary group on women and work.

Winner of the Overall Top Employer Award, sponsored by You At Work, was Sky [pictured]. It was praised by the judges for the strong evidence of its support for diversity, female career progression across the board and family friendly working which was backed up with strong evidence and case studies.

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Awards were presented for eight other categories:

The Top Employer Award for Innovation in Flexible Working, sponsored by M&G Investments, went to Vodafone in recognition of its pioneering global maternity policy which allows women to return from maternity leave on four days a week but get full pay for the first six months, easing them back into the workplace.

The Top Employer Award for Career Progression, sponsored by A.T. Kearney Ltd, went to Sky for its well thought through policies for identifying and promoting women, its ambitious targets, including 50/50 shortlists, which it was succeeding in working towards, its strong mentoring programmes and good evidence of success for its leadership programmes.

The Top Employer Award for Best for Dads, sponsored by IG Group, went to Lloyds Banking Group for its broad range of policies supporting dads, from their Being a Dad course, their Family Matters Network and training and support for managers in how to support dads to including dads on pre and post maternity leave support calls and their agile working culture.

The Top Employer Award for Talent Attraction, sponsored by CA Technologies, went to Berwin Leighton Paisner for its flexible recruitment policies, which included being upfront about flexible working in job adverts and the firm’s pilot of home-based working in a sector not known for flexible working.

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Winner of the Top Employer Award for Family Support, sponsored by Capability Jane, went to Carillion for the range of initiatives it offered to support families, including publications that promoted a changing culture, membership of Employers for Carers, family-related events and its star managers award which were an innovative way of recognising and rewarding good practice.

The Top Employer Award for SMEs with 1-25 employees, sponsored by Johnson Fleming, went to Cuttsy and Cuttsy for a strong, well rounded entry which was genuine and personal.  The judges praised the company for its holistic approach to wellbeing at work and for the fact that all training and benefits were provided across the board, creating a culture of give and take.

The Top Employer Award for SMEs with over 26-250 employees, also sponsored by Johnson Fleming, went to Madgex for its work on female career progression, support for dads and a strong emphasis on flexible working and work life balance across the board.