When the Thomas brothers bagged their first ITV travel show together, Absolutely India: Mancs In Mumbai, it was a dream come true for the threesome.
Individually famous in their own right, former Corrie star Ryan, 35, and twins, former Emmerdale actor Adam, and Love Island star Scott, 31, have come together for a documentary that explores their Indian heritage. Their grandfather Nolan Thomas grew up there before emigrating to the UK in 1947.
Together with their dad, Dougie, who was the lead singer of 70s Manchester band Dougie James And The Soul Train, the brothers travel the length and breadth of the country, meeting some new family members along the way.
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Not afraid to poke fun at each other, we can expect plenty of banter between the brothers and they admit they are hoping the series will mark the start of a new TV-presenting career as a trio.
The boys left their partners and kids back in Blighty, which came with its own challenges. “Everyone was missing home,” Adam, who has a son Teddy, six, and 23-month-old daughter Elsie-Rose with wife Caroline, tells new! magazine.
Ryan, meanwhile, has an 11-year-old daughter, Scarlett, from his relationship with Corrie co-star Tina O’Brien and has since welcomed a baby boy, Roman, with his fiancée Lucy Mecklenburgh.
“It can be difficult bringing a baby into the world in these circumstances, but also there’s a positive that comes out of it. For us, with our newborn son, we have got into a nice little routine that you wouldn’t normally get in everyday life, because there is always something going on or somewhere to go,” he says.
“The first thing I want to do with my family is introduce my brothers to my little boy. That’s top of my list when we come out of isolation.”
Adam adds, “I’ve been teaching my son how to play the piano, we play football and he has maths and English lessons. It’s a routine for them. It’s nice for the kids because they get to have their mum and dad at home all the time and it’s very rare.”
Here, the brothers chat to new about their epic trip, how it’s brought them closer together and whether there are any more little Thomases on the cards…
Hi guys! You’re finally working together on TV. How did it all happen?
Scott: We have always wanted to do something like this and something that had a bit of substance to it. This idea resonated with all of us. We didn’t know much about our heritage and our grandad never spoke about it. There were a lot of unanswered questions.
Before you flew to India, you said it would be a “trip you’d never forget”. So what’s the verdict?
Adam: You can say that again! We did so much. It was the best trip of our lives. We spent time together and we got to go on this journey together.
Ryan: It was an intense month without any distractions other than us. It could have gone disastrously wrong, but it went the other way.
So you didn’t get on each other’s nerves?
Scott and Ryan: No.
Adam: But we did when we got back – I’m joking!
Scott: We didn’t have one argument over there. I think that is because the trip was so special and nobody wanted to jeopardise it. We made the effort not to. It brought us even closer together and being able to spend time with my dad was so special.
Adam: There was so much to take in – the country, the people and the culture. You couldn’t ask for a better place to go.
What did you learn about your heritage?
Adam: We learnt the Thomas gene is strong!
Scott: We met some of Dad’s Thomas cousins. One was a soul singer like him. The cousins we met were charismatic, out there and fun. You could sense a Thomas in the room. There was a connection straightaway.
What was the best part of the trip?
Ryan: There are layers to the show, experiences and so many highs and lows. There wasn’t a standout moment, but we went on a real journey meeting family, walking in the footsteps of Grandad and delving into our old family history. Also just being in India – which if you haven’t been is a real shock to the system.
Scott: I don’t think there were many lows. We dealt with some deep stuff.
Did you cry then?
Scott: Oh yeah, there are certain moments where I was emotional. Dad was on stage singing with one of our new cousins and that was emotional. Also, when we went to the slums, we met all the kids and that was emotional.
Adam: It was emotional from start to finish – being together as a family, being with my brothers, Dad and being put in situations where you are meeting people halfway around the world who are your relatives.
Scott: Adam cried on the side of the road.
Ryan: I cried by default!
Was it nice not being recognised in India?
Scott: I did get recognised! Some guy came up to me and said, “Were you on Love Island?” I asked him how he watched it and he said it was on YouTube. We had a crew with us so I think they thought we were movie stars. But everyone was always so courteous and the people were amazing.
Ryan: They smiled and smiled.
Did any of you get Delhi belly?
Adam: None of us got it.
Scott: We had some street food to see who could eat the spiciest thing. Ryan loved it.
What did you learn about each other?
Scott: What I learnt about all three of us is that we are very similar. We have a lot of emotional respect for each other.
Who is the bossy one?
Adam: Normally it would be Ryan, but he took a step back. We were on the same playing field, we were all doing it as a team, we all wanted the best out of the experience and we all wanted to make an amazing TV show.
Scott. We are in our thirties now. It’s starting to level out. Adam has got two kids at home and a wife, I am still single.
Adam: The dynamics have slightly changed. Back then, we were in each other’s pockets and now it’s different.
Ryan: We have got good hearts and good banter. We don’t want to harm anyone by not being sensible.
Scott: Everything stems from Dad – our mannerisms, the way we look… that’s why we love our dad.
Adam and Ryan, how did you feel being away from your partners and children?
Adam: The first week, it was nice to be away, but later on it was harder. I’m very much a family man. Going home to see my kids and my wife – that’s me all over. But all the TV crew were going through the same thing.
Ryan: I’m a different dynamic to Adam. I’m away a lot, but we can FaceTime and talk all the time. It is always hard, but I had an end game on this trip whereas Adam had another six weeks afterwards as he went on to Australia to do I’m A Celebrity: Extra Camp. I felt it was more manageable for me, and doing a TV show with my brothers was a dream come true.
Talking of going to Australia, were you sad Extra Camp was axed, Adam?
Adam: Gutted! It was my first presenting job and it got cancelled. But it’s the nature of the beast and the industry we are in.
You recently opened your restaurant The Spinn in Manchester. Scott and Ryan, are you happy about that?
Scott: We all want each other to do well and we will all support each other. We will celebrate his restaurant.
Ryan: [Laughing] Even though I had to pay for my own meal!
So there is definitely no rivalry?
Scott: Even as a kid, people would ask me if I was jealous of my brothers, but I’ve never felt that. I’ve never felt like the non-famous one.
The Thomas Brothers has a nice ring to it. Is this the start of a new TV presenting trio?
Adam: Yeah, definitely. We all have showmanship, we all like to be the centre of attention and I do enjoy it with my brothers. I hope it’s the start of something.
Scott: I feel proud of us and I think it’s a positive message to put out there about brotherhood. I don’t think there are many people like us out there…
So are you going on another trip for ITV?
Scott: Ooh, there might be something in the pipeline…
Would you go back to India?
Ryan: I’m at an age now where I want to see as many places as possible. I want to see the world.
Aside from work, you’ve been busy with a new baby boy, Ryan. Congratulations!
Ryan: That’s been the big one! And now this show is coming out at the same time. It’s so exciting.
Scott, are you on the lookout for a girlfriend?
Scott: This is the first year that I’m ready to settle down. Last year was a transitional one with setting up the business [his PR agency].
Do you get loads of women chatting to you thanks to your appearance on Love Island in 2016?
Scott: [Laughs] I don’t know… How do I answer that?
Moving on then! Adam, would you like more children?
Adam: I don’t want any more. I’ve got a boy and a girl and it’s perfect. I can’t wait for them to get to a certain age and me and Caz to be a little couple again.
Do you want to do some more acting, Adam?
I love acting and that’s my passion. I put it on the back burner for a while to do this show and Extra Camp, but that’s what I love and I want to get back into it and focus on my acting career.
What about you, Ryan?
Never say never. I’m not looking at the future. I live for the moment and I never cross things off in life.
And finally, Ryan or Scott, would you ever follow in Adam’s footsteps and do I’m A Celebrity…?
Ryan: I’ve done Celebrity Island With Bear Grylls so they won’t have me.
Scott: I would definitely do it. It’s a great show. It’s a challenge you can’t say no to.
Absolutely India: Mancs In Mumbai starts on ITV on 29 April at 8pm
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