Andi and Miquita Oliver: ‘We learned to drink without shame in Barbados’ | Travel TV

“We’re like Batman and Robin – clearly, I’m Batman.” Andi Oliver, 58, is along with her daughter, Miquita, 37, bunkering down in a coastal cottage in Hastings for some time to recuperate after a busy 12 months of working collectively. “We simply need to sleep for a bit,” groans Miquita. However between bickering over which homes are the most effective to peek into on walks again house in east London, bursting into unstoppable deep stomach laughs each 5 minutes, and often pausing our dialog to reply the calls of different members of the family, it turns into clear {that a} restful time isn’t one thing the Oliver girls expertise a lot of.

Each have profitable tv careers in their very own rights (TV chef Andi is now a daily on weekend cooking exhibits; Miquita is finest recognized for internet hosting 00s hit teen-show Popworld) however, in latest years, mom and daughter have merged their skilled paths. It began with a BBC roadtrip present in 2018, Eight Go Rallying: The Highway to Saigon, which noticed them drive 3,000km round south-east Asia in a Morris Minor. They gained a deeper understanding of one another, and obtained a aptitude for working collectively, so when the pandemic hit, the pair shaped a bubble and began an irresistibly upbeat Instagram collection, What’s for Dinner Mummy?, documenting the enjoyment of cooking. In addition they charmed viewers on Superstar Gogglebox. Individually they’re nice – however united, they’ve an endorphin-pumping vitality that may drive a toothy smile out of anybody.

Their subsequent challenge is BBC Two’s tradition collection The Caribbean With Andi and Miquita, which airs on Sunday. “My dad and mom grew up on totally different ends of the identical road in St John’s in Antigua,” recollects Andi, “however they didn’t really meet till they moved right here and went to a dance in Leicester.” It’s this type of story that has at all times piqued her curiosity about her heritage, but it surely’s taken some time for her daughter to catch up.

“Mum handled me to a visit to Antigua for my eleventh birthday, however I didn’t need to go if I’m sincere; I used to be younger, settled in school and in all probability in love with a boy I didn’t need to depart behind,” giggles Miquita, absolutely conscious of how brattish it sounds now. “She was a moody teenager!” Andi rapidly interrupts. “She didn’t get the private, familial, gut-wrenching ‘connection’ that I needed her to have.”


The brand new present was the pair’s second shot at it; they’d been attempting to get it commissioned for practically 5 years. “This sort of story has at all times been actually necessary to us – and the world – it simply wasn’t given a platform,” says Miquita. “However the Black Lives Matter motion blowing up – it gave us the chance to inform what we’d needed to for a very long time.”

Not solely did the duo lastly get the prospect to showcase their story, they have been ready to do it as extra than simply the celebs of the present they pitched – they’re additionally producers. “It’s a giant deal for us,” says Andi, of roles that noticed her and Miquita work carefully with the director, and get their tooth caught into the enhancing. “We realised a dream to be greater than presenters after broadcasting for thus a few years.”

The pair additionally hope their journey will assist to change folks’s perceptions of their vacation spot: “Within the UK, there’s a type of homogenised thought of the Caribbean,” says Miquita. “It turns into one island, often Jamaica. To the purpose the place I – a girl of Caribbean descent – didn’t even actually know a lot concerning the different islands.”

Swim deep … Andi and Miquita go diving. {Photograph}: Errol Ettienne/BBC/Somethin’ Else

That is rectified because the intrepid travellers discover the Caribbean island by island (Antigua, Barbuda, Barbados), assembly islanders to get an actual sense of native life and – most significantly – studying the alternative ways they let their hair down. “In Barbados, you have got a beer together with your meals at 8am on a Saturday morning and mainly go on a pub crawl,” says Andi (in stitches of laughter). “This beautiful man referred to as Ryan took us out and he mentioned it’s all a revered a part of tradition,” chirps Miquita (additionally chuckling away). “In Barbados they don’t drink with guilt or shame. I used to be speaking to my pals about this the opposite day – I learned rather a lot about that – eradicating the shame that comes with having a drink in the UK and simply having enjoyable.”

Meals and drink was at all times going to be a giant – and very welcome – a part of the present with Andi concerned (she opened Wadadli, a Caribbean meals pop-up, in her native pub in Clapton, east London, through the pandemic). In truth, she says she is infuriated by how misunderstood Caribbean meals is in the UK. “Folks typically name it Jamaican meals, which drives me up the wall. Each island has its personal model of Caribbean meals. Folks have travelled by the Caribbean islands for all types of causes and left their imprint in the DNA and the meals. There’s a dish in Antigua referred to as ‘vina dosh’ which is a very previous method of cooking pork marinated in vinegar; in Portugal there’s a dish referred to as ‘vinah d’alhos’ which can be pork marinated in vinegar; then in India there’s a dish referred to as ‘vindaloo’ …”

“She loves telling that story,” Miquita rolls her eyes earlier than cracking up once more.

Did they discover a new connection to the islands? “Without giving an excessive amount of away, we had DNA assessments achieved and they have been fairly mind-blowing. Anticipate a lot of ugly crying on the telly,” howls Andi. “We have been there at a time of change: Barbados grew to become a republic final yr and is now run by two unimaginable girls [president Sandra Mason and prime minister Mia Mottley],” provides Miquita. “It felt serendipitous being there.”

Whereas many ladies would balk on the considered working so carefully with their mom or daughter full-time – no matter how nicely they get on – these two make it look straightforward. It might be enviable, in the event that they weren’t so likable. “We did some loopy issues collectively; we have been terrified once we went deep-sea swimming! To be a mom and daughter on an journey collectively and present what it’s actually like: the truths of it, the ins and outs, the ups and downs … we’re actually happy with that,” says Miquita, in a immediately extra critical tone.

“My mum was a single dad or mum till my stepdad got here alongside. We’re used to being a crew: Mum was 20 when she had me, so it was a child taking care of a child. We’ve at all times sorted one another and this simply looks like an extension from the way it began.”

“Aw, that’s beautiful!” coos Andi. They pause for a millisecond – and then the laughter erupts as soon as extra.


The Caribbean With Andi and Miquita is on BBC Two on Sunday at 9pm.

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button