Host and adventurer Ben Fogle owned the Lonely Planet book, A Year Of Adventures, for a while before he was approached to participate in a five-part TV series based on it. “Since I’ve done some big challenges like rowing across the Atlantic Ocean and trekking to the South Pole in the past, it becomes hard to come up with things that still test me. With this show, we were able to find some that I found tough,” says the adventure junkie.
The most exciting part about his travels in this series, according to him, is the believability factor. Calling himself an “ordinary person and not an expert”, he goes on to explain why he feels anyone who watches him do what he has done, can get motivated enough to attempt it themselves.
“Of course, you have to plan and prepare for all challenges, I always get local help and advice. But otherwise, people who watch this series will come away from it not thinking ‘I could never do that’ but instead will think ‘maybe I could have a go at that’,” says the host, whose BBC Entertainment show Year Of Adventures, will premiere on the channel on February 19 at 7 pm. He adds, “I’d like to think of myself as an everyday person who takes on extraordinary challenges.”
One of the many challenges that Fogle took on over the last few months included a 1,000 km car rally across the Australian desert. “I’ve never concentrated so hard for so long in my life. I felt like I had run a marathon, even though all it involved was sitting in a car, bouncing along the desert. I actually found it scary because one false move or slip can flip the car very easily,” he says, adding that more than reaching the finish line first, it’s about getting there in one piece.
“Part of it is making sure the car lasts. The key is finding that balance, between going as fast as you can, not getting a flat tyre, and leaping off mountains and breaking the axel of the car, which is very easy to do,” he says.
On his list of upcoming adventure locations, India features high. Though “embarrassed” to say that he hasn’t been to the country yet, he has heard about the Rickshaw Challenge that takes place annually. “There is something called the rickshaw run, I’ve always wanted to do it. Hopefully I will be in India next year,” he says.