TV ‘H

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

OW many of us ful­fil our dreams?” asks Ben Fogle, point­edly. “I’ve al­ways lived my life to have no re­grets, and when I die, I’d like to think, ‘you know what, I made a dif­fer­ence and I did ev­ery­thing I wanted to do’,” he says.

We’re dis­cussing the premise be­hind his hit Chan­nel 5 show, New Lives In The Wild, in which he trav­els the globe to meet peo­ple who have turned their backs on the daily grind.

“The world is quite an­gry right now, isn’t it?” Ben, 43, con­tin­ues. “We’re read­ing it all the time; it’s never been so di­vided [and] this kind of sim­mer­ing anger that man­i­fests it­self on the in­ter­net, in so­cial me­dia, it’s so un­healthy.

“For me, the wilder­ness on one hand is very black and white: it’s go­ing to ei­ther be rainy or it’s go­ing to be dry, you’re ei­ther go­ing to be cold or you’re go­ing to be hot,” he ob­serves.

“Some­times it’s easy to in­ter­pret it, but it also just has an hon­esty to it that I think so­ci­ety has lost and that’s what’s re­ally ap­peal­ing.”

Six sea­sons in and Ben, whose TV ca­reer stemmed from his stint on the BBC re­al­ity show Cast­away in 2000, is clearly thrilled about the se­ries’ suc­cess. His long list of ex­ploits in­cludes the six-day Marathon des Sables, swim­ming from Al­ca­traz to San Fran­cisco and a 49-day, 3,000-mile row­ing race with James Crack­nell.

Dur­ing this se­ries he will join another set of brave in­di­vid­u­als who have cho­sen to ven­ture down an al­ter­na­tive path, from Egyp­tian farms on the edge of the Sa­hara Desert and the vast wilder­ness of Aus­tralia; to the foothills of the Span­ish moun­tains and even a float­ing is­land off the Cana­dian coast.

“The more places I go, the more I un­der­stand and the Ben Fogle’s dreams of es­cap­ing ‘civil­i­sa­tion’, are on hold – for now. He tells why he en­vies those who can live off-the-grid more I want to ask,” says Ben, who sharp­ened his broad­cast­ing skills on shows like Coun­try­file and An­i­mal Clinic,

Above all else, the uni­fy­ing trait, he notes, is the supreme hap­pi­ness of ev­ery­one he meets.

“I think so many of us dream of break­ing free from the manic ex­pec­ta­tion in so­ci­ety,” he be­gins, pas­sion­ately. “Now, more than ever, peo­ple are try­ing to earn enough money to be able to pay their mort­gage or pay their rent and then have enough money to pay for the lat­est tech­nol­ogy.”

He adds: “I’ve got this real prob­lem with planned

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