Adam, Ryan, and Scott Thomas join forces with their dad to star in a new series exploring their Indian heritage. But with candid conversations to be had, the trip uncovers more than just family roots, Gemma Dunn finds out.

When ITV offered up the trip of a lifetime to Adam, Ryan, and Scott Thomas, they grabbed it with both hands.

The celebrity siblings would join forces for the aptly titled Absolutely India: Mancs in Mumbai; a six-part series that sees the trio - and their father Dougie - set off on an adventure to explore their Indian roots.

From soaking up iconic sites to seeking out long lost relatives, the group is forthcoming in its attempt to navigate one of the most chaotic cities in the world.

But with the country a challenge for even the most hardened of travellers - the food, the crowds, the noise - how will three lads from Manchester and their 70-something parent handle their time away?

We find out.


Firstly, how did the brothers - renowned for their close bond - feel about the opportunity to spend four weeks together?

"It was unbelievable, literally, we'll never get that again," begins reality star Scott, 31. "Even just three sons, as adults, spending time with their dad, is rare.

"Also my dad is 72 now, but he's quite an old 72, he's lived his life [Dougie is a music promoter and lead singer of 70s band Dougie James and the Soul Train], so in a way we all saw this as our last little journey with our dad, which is quite sad, but it was so special."

"At least we've got something to remember him by," chimes Scott's twin brother and former Emmerdale actor, Adam.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience and we would have just done it anyway, but the fact that we were making a TV show out of it was just the icing on the cake," he quips. "We've got something to watch back."


The trip - surprisingly - marks the first time the foursome had been to India ("It was never something we delved into" - Scott), so it was an eye-opener, from the densely populated city of Mumbai to the tranquil beaches of Goa.

Yet there's so much ground still to cover, reasons Ryan: "We wanted to go and see the Taj Mahal, stuff like that, but it took a whole day to get there!

"We visited Mumbai, Goa and Jejuri in Pune, so maybe next series we can see a bit more?" teases the former Corrie star, 35.

"Going back there is important to us now; we spent so much time there, but we only know one side of it, so there's so much more to see."

"Every day was just fun-packed; we did something new and put ourselves into situations that we'd never been in before," adds Adam.

"[We went to a dance school in slums] where Slumdog Millionaire was filmed, and then we were on the street doing Bollywood dancing, singing. Priceless!"


How did they each cope with being away from home for a long period?

"I've been away from Scarlett for long periods if I've had to work, like on Bear Grylls or Big Brother, so I know what that feeling is like," admits Ryan, who shares his 11-year-old daughter with his famous ex partner, Tina O'Brien; and recently welcomed a son with fitness mogul, Lucy Mecklenburgh.

"It's more difficult for Adam because he's never been away from his kids."

"It's nice for about a week and then it starts to kick in - then I had to go off to Australia!" notes dad of two, Adam, who presented last year's Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! spin-off show Extra Camp.

"It was nice to finally get home and see my wife and kids, but it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience to do something like this and they supported me."

"For me, [it was] the first time ever coming back from somewhere where I was scared to fall back into my old regime," Scott shares. "You're over there, seeing all these people with nothing who are so content; it makes you want to slow down and live in the moment."


Similarly, the others found themselves evaluating life back home too.

"You cannot help but do that," Adam muses. "We went to the slums and saw all these kids and markets where people are literally selling fruit and veg - and living there - and yet they're so content and happy.

"We're jealous, in a way, which is weird," he confides. "Because they have nothing but yet have everything.

"These kids are just barefoot walking the streets. It breaks your heart, man. And that's why we do want to do something to give back."

The idea is to put a book together, comprised of photographs Adam took on his travels - with the proceeds going back to the source, Scott interjects.

"There's no way we can go over there and not give something back."


In addition, the plight did a lot for the brothers' relationship with Dougie, too, who had not always been present in their lives.

The emotions came to a head on the last day of the trip, Scott recalls.

"Basically my dad had to answer some questions and it got very emotional," he explains. He tries to laugh things off, but this was a time we were like, 'You've got time here to speak to your three sons and be honest'."

"The questions had never been asked," Adam adds. "So we pinned him down and got some answers out of him, but not everything.

"It was really sad, it came from nowhere, but it was the best thing that ever happened."

"That's what's amazing about this show: that's the only time we've ever spoken about it and will probably be the last time," Ryan concludes.


It's a private moment that may encourage viewers who want to reunite with their family members, Ryan hopes.

"It might end up getting a real good message across to people - it's out there for people to make their own mind up and I think that's really cool."

"People come up all the time and say, 'I want my three boys to be like you'. There's that message, which we hadn't really thought about," Scott says.

"We're seen as really close - but what is a perfect family?" Ryan asks. "Ours isn't perfect, but it's 'our perfect' and I wouldn't change anything for the world.

"I wouldn't change my dad not being there for so long because it's made us who we are. I'm happy with the way things turned out.

"People say, 'We want a Thomas reality show', well this way we're teaching you about India, family history, culture, relationships..." he finishes.

"It was one of the best times we've had together, ever. Bonding-wise, we've done some nice stuff together, but this was the pinnacle for us."

Absolutely India: Mancs in Mumbai, STV, Wednesday, 8pm.

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