Ben Fogle

From Openwaterpedia

Ben Fogle (born 3 November 1973) is an English television presenter, adventurer and writer who travels the world doing Adventure swimming as part of the five-part series called Year of Adventures that is based on the Lonely Planet book of the same name. Fogle's exploits will be broadcast internationally on BBC Knowledge, BBC HD and BBC Entertainment in 2012.

Fogle has completed a number of adventures of all sorts around the world, including variety of open water swims. These swims have included the Alcatraz Swim with the assistance of Pedro Ordenes.

He will also attempt The Great Atlantic Swim in 2014 as an assisted continuous stage swim.


  • South Pole Race where Fogle teamed up with James Cracknell and Dr. Ed Coats to race across Antarctica in the inaugural South Pole Race, the first of its kind since Captain Scott and Amundsen raced one another 100 years ago. The man hauled their 100 kg sledges across 1000 km of snow and ice in temperatures of minus 50. They suffered frostbite, hypothermia and delirium as they raced international teams across the Frozen wasteland.
  • Edinburgh to London by Rickshaw 2009 where Fogle and James Cracknell peddled a rickshaw from Edinburgh to London to raise money for the Forces charity SSAFA. The journey took them 24 hours non stop peddling and was filmed for ITV’s Pride of Britain Awards.
  • Extreme Andes 2008 where Fogle spent eight weeks in 2008 traveling the spine of the Andes from the Equator in Ecuador to the Tropic of Capricorn in Chile. The varying terrain included one of the world’s toughest mountains, virgin rainforest, the deepest canyon in the world and the driest desert on earth as Ben and his team of unsung heroes trekked across the planet’s toughest terrain.
  • Uganda, Mountains of the moon 2007 where Fogle and his team across the notorious Bigo Bogs of Uganda as they attempted to reach and scale the 5400m high Mount Baker in the legendary mountains of the moon on the Uganda/Congo border. The team had to contend with freezing conditions, guerrillas and mile upon mile of thigh high mud in their quest to reach the summit.
  • The Viking Run, Sweden 2007 where Fogle completed the 100 km ice skating marathon, across the frozen lakes and fjords of Sweden, racing from the town of Uppsala to Stockholm.
  • Kaiteur Falls, Guyana 2006 where Fogle led a team of five adventurers on a 10 day journey through the primary rainforests of Guyana, South America to the worlds highest single drop water falls, Kaiteur. The team navigated down anaconda infested rivers and survived a close nocturnal encounter with two jaguars in their quest to reach the magical falls
  • Atlantic Rowing Race 2005 where Fogle and Olympic Oarsman James Cracknell set off in a twenty one foot plywood boat in the 2005 Atlantic Rowing Race. The pair spent 49 days at sea coming in two days ahead of the next pairs rowing boat, setting the British record for East West crossing from La Gomera to Antigua.
  • The Marathon Des Sables, Morocco 2004 where Fogle completed the seven day race across the Sahara desert, covering a distance of over 200km, in the self sufficient race across the sandy wastelands of Southern Morocco.
  • London to Monte Carlo by Bicycle, Europe 1993 where Fogle and two friends set off from London for Monaco. The team covered more than 120 miles per day, completing the expedition in just 9 days.
  • World Worm Charming Championships 2005 where Fogle persuaded 7.5 worms from the soil. The winner tamed 250.
  • World Lawn Mower racing championships where Fogle crashed his lawn mower necessitating medical treatment. He came last.
  • World Stinging Nettle Eating Championships where Fogle managed 20 ft of nettles, which translates as 200 leaves. He was sick.
  • Summer Tough Guy where Fogle successfully completes the Summer Tough Guy event in number 300.
  • Man Vs Horse Race where Fogle took part in the Welsh race. He was beaten by a horse.
  • World Oyster Eating Championships where Fogle managed to consume 88 Oysters in 2 minutes.
  • Wallberswick Crabbing Championships where Fogle failed to catch a single crab, being outcrabbed by Mr Richard Curtis who caught three.
  • World Conker Championships where Fogle was beaten by the French. Zuts Alors!


Fogle first came to public notice by participating in the BBC reality show Castaway 2000, which followed a group of 36 people marooned on the Scottish island of Taransay for a year starting 1 January 2000. The social experiment aimed to create a fully self-sufficient community within a year.


Crufts 2008

Fogle has since become a regular television presenter for the BBC, hosting Crufts, One Man and His Dog, Countryfile, Country Tracks, Extreme Dreams With Ben Fogle, Animal Park, Wild on the West Coast and Wild in Africa. He has also reported for Inside Out, Cash In the Attic, Heaven and Earth, and What Are We Like with Jo Brand and BBC 2's "Ben Fogle's Escape in Time". He made a film about the facial deforming disease Noma for a BBC 2 documentary "Make Me A New Face" which followed the work of the charity Facing Africa and Great Ormond Street Hospital. He has made films about naval History and the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) for the History Channel and recently followed Princes William and Harry on their first joint Royal Tour in Botswana and made an exclusive documentary called Prince William's Africa. Fogle has recently become a special correspondent for NBC News in the United States. He has spent some of his time away from the screen taking part in motivational and corporate speaking.


Fogle appeared on the rural affairs program alongside John Craven from 2001 until 2008, during which time he reported on a number of the UK's rural pastimes, including coracle racing, the worm charming championships, the lawn mower racing championship, world stinging nettle eating competition in Dorset, oyster eating championships in Northern Ireland, World Conker Championships in Northamptonshire, the alternative Scottish games, world tin bath racing on the Isle of Man, bog snorkeling and the Man versus Horse race in Wales, the Tough Guy Competition, cheese rolling in Gloucestershire, morris dancing, Tar Barrels in Devon, Up Helly Aa in Shetland, the Furry Dance in Cornwall and the British Open Crabbing Championships in Walberswick, Suffolk, and the World Coal Carrying Championships in Gawthorpe, West Yorkshire.

Extreme Dreams With Ben Fogle

He presented the BBC 2 series made by Ricochet in 2006 and 2007 in which he selected five members of the public to go on expeditions of a lifetime. Destinations included expeditions to the Kaiteur Falls in Guyana, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Mount Baker in Uganda, Mount Roraima in Venezuela, the Black Cat trail in Papua New Guinea, the Inca ruins in Peru, the Sahara Desert of Libya, Across the Arctic tundra of Svalbard in the Arctic Circle and most recently a journey across the Andes of South America from the Equator in Ecuador to the tropic of Capricorn in Chile. The series is currently showing in South Africa, New Zealand and the United States.


Fogle has written four books, The Teatime Islands in search of the remaining islands in the British Empire in which he travels to Saint Helena, Ascension Island, the Falkland Islands, the British Indian Ocean Territories and Tristan da Cunha. He also tried to visit Pitcairn Island, but when the inhabitants learned that he was a journalist they refused to let him land. Ben claims that they suspected that he was in fact a spy, and after some hours of interrogation he was refused permission to visit and sent away from the island. He was also accused of attempting to smuggle a breadfruit on to the island[citation needed] The book was short-listed for the W H Smith's people's award for Best Travel Book.

He has also written Offshore published by Penguin in 2006 in which he traveled around Britain in search of an island of his own. He visited the Kingdom of Sealand and attempted to invade Rockall in the North Atlantic. In 2006 he published the hit Crossing, published by Atlantic books and co-written with Cracknell followed their Transatlantic rowing bid. In 2009, The Race to the Pole was published by Macmillan and spent ten weeks in the bestseller list.

Fogle writes a weekly Country Diary for the Sunday Telegraph and is a regular columnist for The Daily Telegraph and travel writer for The Independent. He has a column in Sky magazine and has contributed to the Evening Standard, New York Times, The Sunday Times and Glamour magazine. He has interviewed Gordon Brown and Prince William for the Mail on Sunday's LIVE magazine.

Other Activities

Fogle is the President of the Campaign for National Parks in which role he backs the Youth Hostels Association and National Parks Mosaic campaign to open up England's national parks to ethnic minorities. Fogle is also an ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund and Tusk; a supporter of the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He is also a patron for the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, the Prince's Trust, the Royal Parks Foundation and ShelterBox. He is a patron, alongside the historian Philippa Gregory, of the UK Chagos Supporters Association fighting for the islanders' rights to return to the British Indian Ocean Territories


Fogle was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters by the University of Portsmouth in 2007.

Television presenting credits

  • Countryfile (2001–2009)
  • Animal Park (2002–2009)
  • Big Screen Britain (2003)
  • Death by Pets (2003)
  • Sport Relief 2004 (2004)
  • The Sand Marathon (2004)
  • Animal Park: Wild in Africa (2005 & 2006)
  • Through Hell and High Water (2006)
  • Crufts (2006, 2007 & 2008)
  • Cash in the Attic
  • One Man and His Dog
  • Animal Park: Wild on the West Coast (2007)
  • Extreme Dreams With Ben Fogle (2007–2009)
  • On Thin Ice (2009)
  • Ben Fogle's Escape In Time (2009-)
  • Country Tracks (2009-)
  • Make Me A New Face: Hope For Africa's Hidden Children (2010)
  • "Prince William's Africa" (2010)
  • The Secrets of Scott's Hut (2011)
  • The worlds most dangerous roads (2011)

External links