Cotswold comedian Dom Joly is to embark on a journey of discovery - to Istanbul.

Dom is one of seven famous faces taking part in the third series of the BBC Two travelogue Pilgrimage: The Road To Istanbul.

Taking part is journalist Adrian Chiles, a converted Catholic; former politician Edwina Currie, a lapsed Jew; Olympian Fatima Whitbread, a Christian; broadcaster Mim Shaikh and TV presenter Amar Latif, both Muslims; and two confirmed atheists: Dom and actress Pauline McLynn.

Donning backpacks, the group will spend just over two weeks living as simple pilgrims following an ancient 1,000km military route, which has been transformed into a modern-day path of peace.

Starting in Serbia's capital city Belgrade, the pilgrims will travel through Bulgaria and the mountainous Balkans, before crossing the border into Turkey, with their goal of reaching Istanbul and the Suleymaniye Mosque.

Dom said: "I'm totally non-religious and I just wanted to spend two weeks arguing with religious people and telling them how ridiculous they were, but actually they were all quite reasonable, so that didn't really happen.

"I travel a lot; I write travel books and I like dark tourism. I walked across Lebanon last year so I thought that I needed another walk and my big hero is Patrick Leigh Fermor, who walked in the 1930s from London to Istanbul, so the idea of being able to do the same-ish journey as he did was just unbeatable.

"Everyone we met along the way was lovely and friendly, and yet you knew the things that they believed in are used to divide. That's my problem with religion.

"I think it's just the extraordinary contrast between the friendliness of the people but knowing that there's this really deep-set division underneath it."

*Pilgrimage: The Road To Istanbul starts on BBC Two tonight at 9pm.