Father Ted star Pauline McLynn has said she was in tears when she completed her epic trek for the new series Pilgrimage: The Road to Istanbul, which begins on BBB Two on Friday night at 9:00pm.
The series sees McLynn and another atheist, comedian Dom Joly, joined on the road by "journalist Adrian Chiles, a converted Catholic; former politician Edwina Currie, a lapsed Jew; Olympian Fatima Whitbread, a practising Christian; broadcaster Mim Shaikh and television presenter Amar Latif, both Muslims".
McLynn and her travelling companions start their journey in the Serbian capital, Belgrade. They then travel through Bulgaria and the Balkan Mountains, before crossing into Turkey and onwards to Istanbul and the Süleymaniye Mosque. The pilgrims have over 1,000km to cover in a little over two weeks.
"I love walking and it seemed like an adventure waiting to happen for me - also I had not been to any of the places we visited before," McLynn told the BBC.
When asked to describe her feelings at the end of the pilgrimage, she replied: "I was in tears at the first proper sight of Istanbul. Not only had we made it, but it was a breathtakingly beautiful day and we arrived at our vantage point just as a call to prayer rang out from the city's mosques - magical."
McLynn added that she would do it all again "in a heartbeat".
Pilgrimage: The Road to Istanbul, Friday, BBC Two, 9:00pm