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The interior designer will appear in the new series of BBC Two’s ‘Pilgrimage’ tonight. The show will see a group of celebrities – all with different religious and faith beliefs – embark on a long journey. Over the course of 15 days, the pilgrims will follow in the footsteps of the sixth century Irish monk, Saint Columba, who was credited with spreading Christianity across Scotland.
Speaking ahead of the journey, Laurence said: “I think pilgrimage is about clearing out your mental closet by physical exertion and by spiritual conversation with yourself or, if you believe it, then conversation with your God.
“I know I come across as all sort of flouncy and floppy and rather cavalier, but I am capable of existing in the real world.
“However, I don’t think I’ve walked so far not wearing Cuban heels.”
Laurence has made a name for himself as a flamboyant television personality, a career that has not been without controversy.
READ MORE: Eugenie & Beatrice have contrasting marriages – body languageHe previously caused a stir after commenting on potentially working with Meghan Markle.
In 2019, Meghan and her husband Prince Harry moved out of Kensington Palace and into the recently refurbished Frogmore Cottage.
They chose Vicky Ward to decorate their new home, when asked about their choice, Laurence hit out at the Duchess of Sussex.
Speaking to News Corp in 2019, he said: “Meghan is far too dull, she’d run screaming from me.”Laurence described the Duchess’ taste as “very mainstream”.
Later that year, the designer appeared on Loose Women during which he was asked why he said Meghan’s taste was “dull”.
But rather than explain his comments, he insulted Meghan again.
Laurence said: “Now I would like to spring to my own defence.
“I was trying to break it to everyone gently that I don’t want to [design] Frogmore Cottage.“She’s a lovely lady, but I don’t want to.
“I think she has a strong sense of her own style – but it’s a bit beige for me.”
While Laurence is unlikely to work with the Sussexes, he is open to taking on one particular royal client.
In his interview with News Corp, the star explained: “My only hope for a proper, decent royal commission is when we get a Queen Camilla.
“She’s just over the garden fence and I’m very much hoping for a royal command.”
Laurence lives in a 17th century country retreat in the Cotswolds where one of his neighbours is Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
But his royal connections don’t end there.
In a 2018 interview with the Daily Mail, he revealed that he had designed the floors at Buckingham Palace, but that Prince Philip disliked his work.
The designer explained: “I did some flooring [at Buckingham Palace], years and years ago, before I was famous and Prince Philip hated it.
“So I just say, ‘You probably don’t know this, but years ago, I designed these floors.’ And he looked down and went, ‘Hmm, never liked them.’
“That sort of killed the conversation, really.”
Laurence will be a world away from Buckingham Palace as he takes on a 15-day pilgrimage through the UK.
The three part BBC Two show, ‘Pilgrimage: The Road To The Scottish Isles’, will see the designer undertake a 1,600km journey on foot and by boat in the aim of finding spiritual awakening.
Laurence, who describes himself as a non-conforming pagan, will be joined by ex-England cricketer and practising Sikh, Monty Panesar, actress Louisa Clein, who is Jewish, and TV personality Nick Hewer, an agnostic with Catholic roots.
The celebrities will start their journey in the Republic of Ireland, before walking through to Northern Ireland where they will take a boat to Scotland.
Their final destination is Iona, a tiny island in the Inner Hebrides and the site of Saint Columba’s most revered monastery.
‘Pilgrimage: The Road To The Scottish Isles’ will air on BBC Two tonight at 9pm
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