Ben Fogle travels around the world to witness the lives and adventures of the wild. He made his first appearance with the TV programme ‘Castaway’ and currently presents the documentary series ‘Return to the Wild’ which recently released the 3rd Season on BBC Earth. We had a delightful interview with Ben Fogle about wild life and his documentary series. And we have received the good news: “Ben Fogle: Lost Worlds” exploring the lives and landscapes of remote communities will be on BBC Earth screens in August.
Who is Ben Fogle? How did his life crossed paths with wild life?
I was a boy who failed all my exams and wasn’t good at sport who has used nature and the wild as a way of making something of my life. I have always been drawn to the simplicity of the wilderness. It has always been my happy, safe place where I can grow and thrive.
‘Return to the Wild’, which we know as the sequel to ‘Where the Wild Men Are’, you looked back at your acquaintances in the wild. What has changed, what have you seen?
I have loved the opportunity to return to some of the people I have met over the years. Many of them become lifelong friends. So many changes have happened for some many. Some good and some bad. Illness and age has caught up with many of the wild folk, but there are plenty of inspiring things that have happened too.
What awaits us in season 3 different from the first two?
The beautiful thing about the series is that no two episodes are the same let along, series. Each person or couple or family is completely unique. The landscape, culture, country and personality is uniquely varied. This series takes me to Uruguay, Australia, the Portuguese Azores among others.
You have been working on wildlife for decades, and you have even been appointed as a “wild nature protector” by the United Nations. Can you talk a little bit about this, why and where did the United Nations assigned you, what is it to be a ‘wild nature protector’?
I have worked with the United Nations environment programme for many years now. I first worked with them on mountains when I climbed Mount Everest. My role as an ambassador is to raise awareness for our wild places and the flora and fauna that doesn’t have a voice. I like to talk in schools and to governments around the world to share with them my own experiences in the wilderness.
You are looking for the answer to “Is life still possible in the wild?”, actually, this has become a trend recently. We are millions who are trying to put our white collars aside and return to nature. Do you think we have a chance? It seems to me that wild nature is destined to deteriorate and disappear.
It is a fragile balance. If too many of us abandon urban life for a wild one, it could be devastating for our fragile wilderness but there is so much we can learn about the simplification of our lives. We have all become too materialistic and by living a simpler, humbler life we can all leave a gentler footprint.
What would you recommend to people who have the same feelings towards nature as you do? How do you think a good nature protector should be?
We must respect our environment. Put back more than you take away. Resilience and resourcefulness are important attributes you need to live in the wild.
Will you continue your documentary series? What are your plans for Season 4?
We have already begun another series that has taken me to Thailand, Sri Lanka, Colombia and Norway to name just a few. It’s an amazing new series. The story from Colombia might well be my favourite one ever. And I’ve filmed more than 100.
“Ben Fogle: Lost Worlds,” which uncovers long-forgotten landscapes and introduces communities living outside the mainstream, will premiere on Friday, August 18th at 10:00 PM on BBC Earth, to meet the fans.