Give me Ben Fogle, a British adventurer over a film star to interview any day of the week. Adventurers by their very nature are a breed apart. They are frequently above average in the looks department, (Ranulph Fiennes was considered for 007), have impeccable manners, turn up on time and have fascinating things to say about just about everything from how to drink whisky – to being adept at Ray Mear’s style, bush craft, survival skills. Instinct tells me that Fogle would be really good in a tricky situation. Unflappable, like Attenborough. Just the thing you need in a man, should there be a Third World War or economic meltdown. Maybe he should think about the James Bond franchise…. he is the perfect age to play 007.
I could kiss him too, when he declares that sustainability shouldn’t be a frightening thing; it should be fun and even heaven forbid – a bit hedonistic! From growing veg with the kids on top of their Wendy house, in the garden- to taking small steps to be less wasteful. “Adventurers are naturally sustainable,” Ben says. ” Because resources are so scarce on trips. Every drop of water is precious, so you learn to be incredibly frugle.”
I know who I would rather have around in a crisis – and it isn’t Brad Pitt or R Patz!
So Ben Fogle is definitely an EH hero. A man who has, at times, been cursed with being almost two pretty to be taken seriously, ever since he washed up on a pretty Scottish island of Taransay in the BBC reality series, Castaway. So I am very pleased to report that after a decade or so of putting himself through some extraordinary challenges and ordeals, just because he loves the ‘physical pursuit and time pressure’; Ben is starting to look a little less pretty and a whole lot more roughed up handsome.
It’s a look that suits him, especially when wearing a sartorial suit from Huntsman of Savile Row. Ben’s suit is in a shade of blue that is striking, because it is so hard to pigeonhole. It is somewhere between Air force blue and the colour of the sky on a cloudless summer day.
As boats rush by on the Thames, Fogle ranges across also sorts of interesting topics during our interview, from the pleasure that a tiny bottle of whisky can give a man in some of the most desolate places on earth, to wandering round a farmers markets with his kids on a lazy Saturday in London; and why, he rather likes and admires the ultimate smoothie, and razor sharp broadcaster, Alan Whicker. Ben tells me that Alan Whicker’s extraordinary adventures provided great ‘inspiration’ and a sense of wonder to him when he was growing up. Now I won’t spoil it for you, enjoy the interview, and please share it with your friends. Alison Jane
There’s a dash of Whicker’s World in Ben Fogle’s latest series for ITV, Harbour Lives,- as Ben eavesdrops on the ostentatious lives of millionaires living in Poole Harbour, and then juxtaposes all that excess with the hardworking lives of local fisherman. www.itv.com
Thanks to Johnnie Walker Blue Label – Ben Fogle is a fan of Johnnie Walker, masters of fine, blended Scotch Whisky – www.johnniewalker.com Find out more about Ben and read his wonderful book – The Accidental Adventurer – Buy it here – www.waterstones.com