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Ben Fogle

Fogle at BBC Gardeners' World Live 2008.
Born Ben Fogle
3 November 1973 (1973-11-03) (age 36)
Occupation Television presenter
Parents Julia Foster
Bruce Fogle

Ben Fogle (born 3 November 1973) is an English television presenter, adventurer and writer.[1]



The son of actress Julia Foster and broadcasting veterinarian Bruce Fogle, he attended Bryanston School in Dorset. He has two sisters: Emily Fogle, a graphic designer and Tamara Fogle, a London fashion designer.

Fogle has often cited an early inspiration as Shackleton, in whose travels he became more interested in after his own near death experience in the Chiltern Hills.

Early career

He studied at the University of Portsmouth and the University of Costa Rica. He worked on the Picture Desk of Tatler magazine in London before leaving to appear in reality show Castaway 2000.


Fogle first came to public notice by participating in the BBC reality show Castaway 2000, which followed a group of thirty-six people marooned on the Scottish island of Taransay for a year starting 1 January 2000. The series captured the nation's imagination and attracted an audience of 9 million.


Fogle presenting at 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. BBC 2's Escape in Time will be broadcast in the new year.


Fogle appeared on the rural affairs programme 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 snorkelling 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. In 2008 Ben took part in the World Coal Carrying Championships in Gawthorpe, West Yorkshire finishing in 22nd place.

Fogle left Countryfile after its format revamp in 2008, and is now fronting a new Sunday Morning show Country Tracks.

Extreme Dreams

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.


Fogle was the first to cross the line in the pairs division of the 2005–2006 Atlantic Rowing Race in "Spirit of EDF Energy", partnered by Olympic rower James Cracknell, third overall. Whilst competing in the 3000 mile race, the pair had their boat fully capsized by huge waves. They made landfall in Antigua at 07:13 GMT on 19 January 2006, a crossing time of 49 days, 19 hours, 8 minutes. After penalties, they were placed second in the pairs and fourth overall. The BBC series that followed the pair, Through Hell and High Water, won a RTS award in 2007.

He has also completed the six day Marathon des Sables for the World Wide Fund for Nature across 160 miles (260 km) of the Sahara Desert and the Safaricom Marathon in Kenya for the TUSK Trust, with Longleat Safari Park keeper Ryan Hockley. Fogle has completed the Bupa great North Run in 1 hour 33 minutes, the London Marathon and the Royal Parks Half marathon. Fogle beat Eastenders actor Sid Owen in a three round charity boxing match for BBC Sport Relief under the training of Frank Bruno.

In October 2009, Ben and James Cracknell cycled a rickshaw 423 miles from Edinburgh to London non stop. The team took 60 hours to reach the capital, raising money for SSAFA (Soldiers, Saliors, Airmen and Families Association) The event was filmed for ITV's Pride of Britain Awards.

Fogle is an ocean yachtmaster with a sailing world record for the Portsmouth-Cork route.

South Pole

Fogle teamed up with James Cracknell once again, together with Ed Coats, a Bristol based doctor [2], as Team QinetiQ to take part in the inaugural South Pole Race. The team took 18 days, 5 hours and 10 minutes to complete the 770km race, coming second overall, behind the Norwegian Team, who commended them on making it "a fantastic race".[3] Ben suffered hypothermia and frostbite to his nose and the team experienced temperatures as low as minus 40 °C. The race was filmed by the BBC for the series On Thin Ice and was aired in Summer 2009.[4] Macmillan published an account of their journey, Race to The Pole which became a top-10 bestseller in the UK.


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 attempted to travel to Pitcairn Island but when the inhabitants learned that he was a journalist, they refused to let him land. It 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 travelled around Britain[5] 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.

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.

Personal life

In 2006 he married Marina Hunt, co-founder of Kasimira party organisers whom he met whilst walking his black Labrador Retriever, Inca.[6] On 10th December 2009 Ben and Marina's first child Ludo (Ludovic) Herbert Richard Fogle was born, weighing 7lb.[7]

While filming the latest series of Extreme Dreams in Peru, Fogle caught leishmaniasis. The illness left him bedridden for three weeks on his return home. Fogle was treated at London's Hospital for Tropical Diseases.[8]

Fogle is the President of the Campaign for National Parks,[9] 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 (WWF) 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 and Shelterbox.

Fogle was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters by the University of Portsmouth in 2007[10].

Television presenting credits


External links

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