Fogle seeks out the wild men
Sixteen years ago Ben Fogle became part of the BBC reality series Castaway, packed off to the wilderness of the remote Hebridean island of Taransay with 35 other volunteers. There they gave up their home comforts for a year to build a sustainable, self-sufficient community.
For Fogle it was the beginning of what has become a successful TV career in which he, as the amiable host, seeks out those people who have turned their backs on the daily grind of civilised existence and have established new homes in some of the most isolated locations on earth. There they build the essentials for off-the-grid living: hunting, foraging, bartering and doing whatever it takes.
It has been a highly successful addition to the many survival TV formats developed in the past decade, celebrating those who live at the end of the road, or beyond it, such as Duck Dynasty and Mountain Men. “The grass, of course, is always Where the Wild Men Are greener, and while you shun the worries of the modern world, the pressures of life in the wild are merely different,” Fogle says. “Is there enough water? Will the typhoon blow my house down? Are there enough fish in the sea?”
In returning series Where the Wild Men Are, Fogle journeys from the Mongolian tundra to some barren Hungarian landscapes and to the deep Canadian wilderness. He begins his investigations by tracking down British-born former punk rocker Lynx Wilden, who swapped her inheritance for a back-to-basics lifestyle in the far reaches of North America’s Pacific Northwest. She tries to teach the willing Fogle “the tricks of the stone age”, with her mission to encourage us all to become prehistoric. But does her alternative lifestyle come at a price? Knowledge. Saturday, 7.30pm, BBC
Ben Fogle, left, and Colbert, one of the survivalists in the second series of