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Style, Living, Interviews

The Great Ben Fogle

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Ben Fogle

Ben Fogle first appeared on our TV screens 22 years ago as one of the contestants in the BBC reality show, Castaway. The series saw 36 men, women and children tasked with building a community from scratch on the Scottish island of Taransay. As the breakaway star, Fogle has subsequently built an impressive and diverse career and was top of our wishlist for this, the Great Outdoors issue.

Your career started with Castaway. What were your expectations and what did you learn about yourself during your time in the Outer Hebrides?

I learnt about nature, conservation, and self-sufficiency. I loved living so close to nature and the ever-changing weather. I also fell in love with islands. 

An incredible career has followed, and you are now widely known as a presenter, writer, sportsman, activist and adventurer. What motivates you?

I like to push myself and take myself out of my comfort zone. We only have one life, so I want to make the most of it. To add life to my days, not days to my life. 

We recently saw you on ITV presenting on the Falklands (Falklands War: The Forgotten Battle). Was this very personal for you?

It felt personal. I have been lucky enough to visit a couple of times over the years. I love the Falklands. I have many friends there. The war was a big part of my childhood and I wanted to honour the Marines 

You also spent time at Chernobyl for Inside Chernobyl (Channel 5). What was that like?

It was one of the most amazing experiences to walk inside the power station. I remember the meltdown and the fear it brought to the world. I plan to go back next month. 

It feels like you’re exploring a wider breadth of subject matters in these recent programmes, something of a step away from your previous work. Is this a conscious move?

Yes. I am fascinated by people and modern history. I have some exciting projects coming up in some very unexpected places. I hope I can continue to surprise people. 

Can you tell us more about your association with military charity, Walking with the Wounded?

I have been working with WWTW for many years now. I am a long time supporter of the military. I hold an honorary title as Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy.  

We read that you met your wife, Marina, whilst walking your beautiful friend and companion, Inca.  Who showed interest first – the humans or the dogs?

The dogs. Only joking – Marina too!

How did the design collaboration with Barbour come about?

I have worked with Barbour for 5 years now and love their values. Marina and I both live in their clothes and we wanted to share some of our values. 

How involved were you and Marina in the design process?

We were very involved with the Wilderness collections 

You’ve travelled across the UK and the globe, is there anyone you haven’t visited that’s still on your list?

I’d still like to visit Madagascar 

What’s next for you?

I am off to Cyprus to make a film about the war. 

Our theme for this issue is The Great Outdoors – what do you always have with you when you venture forth?

A pocket knife and a water bottle 

Finally, we have to ask – have you been to Crocodiles of the World? We think you and the family would love it!

I haven’t been yet. I have swam with crocodiles in the Okavango delta. Do they allow guests to swim with crocs? 

We’re pretty sure they’ve never been asked…

For the latest news on Ben’s adventures, visit benfogle.com

Barbour Menswear and Womenswear available at barbour.com

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