Race Across The World winners Tony and Elaine Teasdale have said the British could take lessons from the people they met on their travels – who all felt a deep pride for their country.
The North Yorkshire couple, both 62, travelled from Greenwich, London, to Singapore, to triumph in the BBC Two programme.
The former physical education teachers were first to arrive in Singapore and sign their names in an arrivals book at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, winning £20,000 of prize money.
They said they had learnt many lessons from the countries they passed through, but most pertinent of all was that everyone they met had been proud.
Tony told the Press Association: “We could learn more pride. More pride in our country in general.
“People were so passionate wherever we went. For them, where they lived was the best place in the world to be.
“Speaking with everything that is going on at the moment, people don’t give you that feeling here, of how fortunate we are to live in such a beautiful country, like we do. We’re really fortunate.”
Elaine added: “Smile more, hospitality and more pride in your surroundings. That’s what we could learn.”
The couple travelled 12,000 miles across two continents and 21 countries to beat four other teams.
Stripped of their smart phones and credit cards, they used only the cash equivalent of a one-way airfare to Singapore to fund the journey.
Tony faced chronic back pain on a number of occasions but never considered giving up.
“There was weakness there which kicked in on this last leg,” he said.
But the adrenaline of being desperate to finish the race and, who knows, win it, masked a lot of the pain.
“There was no question of giving up. It hampered how quickly we got there but we were just desperate to do it. You’ve just got to grit your teeth.
Elaine added: “He literally didn’t consider giving up. I thought he might because I’ve seen the back when it goes and he can’t walk. I was dreading that happening.”
The couple, who have three children and five grandchildren, were last to reach the first checkpoint of Delphi in Greece.
However, they arrived in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan and second checkpoint, in first place.
This gave them a head start to the third checkpoint of Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, then Huangyao in China and on to Koh Rong in Cambodia.
After that they raced to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore and on reaching the observation deck realised they were the first to arrive, and therefore the winners.