Anh Do. Picture: Supplied

Australian comedian Anh Do - aka "The Happiest Refugee" - is well known for his cheerful disposition and positive outlook.

It makes total sense, then, that his latest TV odyssey takes viewers on a journey to the world's far north to discover the Nordic secret to happiness.

Following in the tradition of the top-rating Anh Does Vietnam (2012) and last year's Anh Does Britain, the two all-new specials, Anh Does Scandinavia and Anh Does Iceland, see the affable funnyman venture to the lands that gave us the likes of Lego, Volvo, IKEA, ABBA and Bjork.

"I like to go somewhere that Aussies know really well and love - like Britain - and discover stuff that we've not seen before, or take everyone on a journey where very few Aussies have been - in this case Scandinavia and Iceland - and tick that box," Do says down the line from his Sydney home.

"I knew that they often topped the lists of the world's happiest countries and that was confirmed when I was there.

"They're really into looking after people. They rescue baby seals on the beach and they're really lovely and warm folk."

From the Scandinavian wilderness to the Swedish and Danish capitals of Stockholm and Copenhagen to the freezing Icelandic climes, Do enjoys all manner of offbeat and random encounters.

"The entire population of Iceland is descended from a group of about 480 Vikings who settled there some 1000 years ago, so most of the population is distantly related," he explains.

"And there's this phone app so when you're at a club and meet a nice-looking girl, before you decide that you like her, you both pull out your phones and it tells you that you can't get intimate because you might be second cousins. I'd pull out the app really early to avoid disappointment!"

Between savouring local delicacies, such as sheep's head and rotting shark, Do discovered plenty of ingenuity.

"You know how helmets just aren't sexy and the Danes like sexy, well they've invented this airbag helmet which is a scarf device that you sort of put around your neck so that you don't get helmet hair," he explains.

"I think in a strange way, these shows show quirky and weird stuff in foreign lands but underneath all of that you see an underlying really lovely humanity.

"We're all just getting along, aren't we?"

"It celebrates the differences - that's what these shows do - and I think that's why people like them."

The West Australian

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