Ben Fogle

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Ben Fogle
Ben Fogle cropped.jpg
Fogle presenting Crufts in 2008
BornBenjamin Myer Fogle[1]
(1973-11-03) 3 November 1973 (age 40)
London, England, United Kingdom
Alma materUniversity of Portsmouth
University of Costa Rica
OccupationAdventurer, television presenter and writer
Spouse(s)Marina Fogle (m. 2006)[2]
ChildrenLudo Fogle (b. 2009)
Iona Fogle (b. 2011)[2]
ParentsJulia Foster
Bruce Fogle
Official Website
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Ben Fogle
Ben Fogle cropped.jpg
Fogle presenting Crufts in 2008
BornBenjamin Myer Fogle[1]
(1973-11-03) 3 November 1973 (age 40)
London, England, United Kingdom
Alma materUniversity of Portsmouth
University of Costa Rica
OccupationAdventurer, television presenter and writer
Spouse(s)Marina Fogle (m. 2006)[2]
ChildrenLudo Fogle (b. 2009)
Iona Fogle (b. 2011)[2]
ParentsJulia Foster
Bruce Fogle
Official Website

Benjamin Myer Fogle, FRGS (born 3 November 1973) is an English adventurer, author, broadcaster and writer, who is best known for his presenting roles with Channel 5, BBC and ITV.

In 2013, Fogle began presenting Harbour Lives, Ben Fogle's Animal Clinic and Countrywise.

Early life[edit]

Fogle is the son of British actress Julia Foster and Canadian expatriate veterinarian Bruce Fogle. He was educated at two independent schools: The Hall School in Hampstead in London, and Bryanston School in Blandford Forum, Dorset, followed by the University of Portsmouth and the University of Costa Rica.[3] Fogle became a Midshipman in the Royal Naval Reserve, serving as an officer on HMS Blazer.[4]



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 social experiment aimed to create a fully self-sufficient community within a year.

TV career[edit]

Fogle is a television presenter working for the BBC, ITV, Channel 5, Sky, Discovery and National Geographic. He has hosted Crufts, One Man and His Dog, Countryfile, Country Tracks, Extreme Dreams With Ben Fogle, Animal Park, Wild on the West Coast, Wild in Africa and Ben Fogle's Escape in Time. He made a film about the facial deforming disease noma for a BBC Two 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 followed Princes William and Harry on their first joint Royal Tour in Botswana and made an exclusive documentary called Prince William's Africa. He marked the centenary of Captain Robert Falcon Scott's expedition to the South Pole with The Secrets of Scott's Hut. He is popular on the motivational and corporate speaking circuit. His new series Swimming with Crocodiles will be on BBC Two and Storm City in 3D in Sky One and National Geographic. Fogle has recently become a special correspondent for NBC News in the United States.

Fogle appeared on the rural-affairs programme Countryfile alongside John Craven from 2001 until 2008, during which time he reported on a number of the UK's odd rural pastimes.

2007-08: Extreme Dreams with Ben Fogle[edit]

Fogle presented the BBC Two series made by Ricochet in 2006 and 2007 and 2008 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[when?] showing in South Africa, Australia, Norway, Sweden, New Zealand and the United States.


In 2013, Ben presented Harbour Lives, an eight-part documentary series for ITV. The show returned in July 2014 for a second series, also of 8 episodes.[5]

In 2013, he presented his new show for Channel 5 called Ben Fogle: New Lives in the Wild, which sees Fogle follow the stories of people living in the wild and isolated from society.[6]

Since September 2013, Ben is a presenter on the ITV series Countrywise alongside Liz Bonnin and Paul Heiney.

In 2013, Ben took over as the host of Animal Clinic on Channel 5, replacing Rolf Harris.


Fogle & Cracknell just before the start of the 2005 Atlantic Rowing Race

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. While 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 Royal Television Society 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. He beat EastEnders actor Sid Owen in a three-round charity boxing match for BBC Sport Relief under the training of Frank Bruno, and he recently re-ran the Safaricom marathon in Kenya with the injured Battleback Soldiers.

Fogle teamed up with Cracknell once again, together with Ed Coats, a Bristol-based doctor,[7] as Team QinetiQ to take part in the inaugural "Amundsen Omega 3 South Pole Race". Six teams set out to race across the Antarctic Plateau to commemorate the historic race of 1911 between Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott. Having led the race for much of the time,[8] the team took 18 days, 5 hours and 10 minutes to complete the 770-kilometre (480 mi) race, coming second overall, 20 hours[9][10] behind the Norwegian team, who commended them on making it "a fantastic race",[11][12] and over 2 days ahead of the next placed team.[13] Fogle suffered hypothermia and frostbite to his nose and the team experienced temperatures as low as −40 °C (−40 °F). The race was filmed by the BBC for the series On Thin Ice and was aired in Summer 2009.[14] Macmillan published an account of their journey, Race to The Pole, which became a top-10 best-seller in the UK.

In October 2009, Fogle and Cracknell cycled a rickshaw 423 miles from Edinburgh to London non-stop. They took 60 hours to reach the capital, raising money for SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association). The event was filmed as part of The Pride of Britain Awards.

Fogle and Cracknell planned to take part in the infamous Tour Divide race in 2010, a 3000-mile mountain-bike race across the Rocky Mountains, from Banff in Canada to the border of Mexico. The world record is held by American Matthew Lee and stands at 17 days. The race was put on hold after Cracknell received life-threatening injuries after being knocked from his bicycle in America while training.

In 2011 Fogle filmed a new series A Year of Adventures with Lonely Planet and BBC Worldwide in which he travels the world in the pursuit of the ultimate adventure, from solo skydiving in Australia to flying in a cold war fighter jet in the Czech Republic. During the series he swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco and dived between the tectonic plates of North America and Europe in Iceland.

In 2013 Fogle and Cracknell teamed up again for their third and final expedition across the Empty-quarter of Oman for a new BBC Two series.


Fogle has written six 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 by private yacht, but when the inhabitants learned that he was a journalist they refused to let him land. Fogle claims that they suspected that he was a spy, and after six hours of interrogation he was refused permission to visit and deported. He was also accused of attempting to smuggle a breadfruit on to the island.[15] The book was short-listed for the W H Smith's people's award for Best Travel Book.

He has also written Offshore (2006), published by Penguin Books, in which he travelled around Britain[16] 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 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 best-seller 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 and has contributed to the Evening Standard, The 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. He is guest director of Cheltenham Literary Festival and a regular at the Hay-on-Wye festival.

Transworld published his first travel memoir The Accidental Adventurer in 2011 and his second, The Accidental Naturalist was published in 2012; both made the Sunday Times best-seller list.


Fogle is the President of the Campaign for National Parks,[17] 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. He is an elected fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.[18] He is also a patron for the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, the Prince's Trust, the Royal Parks Foundation and ShelterBox.

Alongside the historian Philippa Gregory, Fogle is a patron of the UK Chagos Supporters Association, fighting for the islanders' rights to return to the British Indian Ocean Territories. He has described "the story of the Chagos islanders' treatment at the hands of the UK government" as "one for which I am ashamed to be British [...] a story of deceit [... which has] shaken my very principles on conservation and democracy".[19]


  • Countryfile (2001–2009, 2014—)
  • Animal Park (2002–2009)
  • Big Screen Britain (2003)
  • Death by Pets (2003)
  • Sport Relief (2004)
  • The Sand Marathon (2004)
  • Animal Park: Wild in Africa (2005 and 2006)
  • Through Hell and High Water (2006)
  • Crufts (2006, 2007–08)
  • 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 World's Most Dangerous Roads[20] (2011)
  • Swimming With Crocodiles (2012)
  • Lonely Planet's Year of Adventures (2012)
  • Ben Fogle: New Lives in the Wild (2013—)
  • Harbour Lives (2013—)
  • Countrywise (2013—)
  • Ben Fogle's Animal Clinic (2013—)

Personal life[edit]

In 2006, he married Marina Hunt, whom he met while walking his black Labrador Retriever, Inca, in London's Hyde Park.[21] Their first child, a boy named Ludovic Herbert Richard Fogle, was born in 2009.[22] Their second child, a girl named Iona, was born in 2011.

While filming the latest series of Extreme Dreams in Peru, Fogle contracted leishmaniasis, which left him bedridden for three weeks on his return home. He was treated at London's Hospital for Tropical Diseases.[23] Fogle went on to make a documentary, Make Me a New Face, about children suffering from flesh-eating bacteria called noma in Ethiopia. The documentary was broadcast on BBC Two.

Fogle was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters by the University of Portsmouth in 2007.[24]

On 13 August 2010 on the television programme Would I Lie To You?, Fogle admitted (and showed) that he had a tattoo of a nautical star on his right shoulder which he claimed to have acquired at the end of a drunken evening in a pub with the previously unknown tattooist.

Fogle and his wife were invited to the Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.

His waxwork was recently unveiled at Madame Tussauds. He was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in 2013

Fogle has had an acting cameo on the television programme Hotel Babylon.

On 20 February 2013, BBC Newsbeat published an article stating that he had claimed that his drink had been spiked at a pub in Gloucestershire. He described the effects as making him try to jump out of a window, and he subsequently spent a night in hospital.[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [full citation needed] "England & Wales Births 1837–2006".
  2. ^ a b Staff (n.d.). "Ben Fogle : Biography". Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  3. ^ Appleyard, Diana (24 July 2009). "Me and My School Photo: Ben Fogle Remembers His Homesick Boarding School Days and How He Struggled with Dyslexia". Daily Mail. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  4. ^ "Chat with Ben Fogle! | Mayhem! Magazine". Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Ben Fogle: New Lives In The Wild". Channel 5. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  7. ^ Gordon, Bryony (8 October 2008). "James Cracknell's Race to the South Pole – James Cracknell Should Probably Be Spending This Christmas at Home with His Wife, Beverley Turner, Who Will Be Six Months Pregnant with Their Second Child by Then". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  8. ^ "On Thin Ice". April–May 2011. BBC. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  9. ^ [dead link] [1]. Sparks.
  10. ^ "Team QinetiQ conquer the South Pole". QinetiQ Group plc. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  11. ^ [dead link] South Pole Race website
  12. ^ "Team Missing Link Wins the South Pole Race". The Epoch Times. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "Cornishman completes gruelling endurance race to South Pole". This Is Cornwall. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  14. ^ Five episodes of 'On Thin Ice' were broadcast on BBC Two Sunday evenings receiving a peak record of 3.7 million viewers [BBC2.
  15. ^ Would I Lie To You?, Series 4 Episode 4
  16. ^ Ben Fogle (12 June 2008). "Joseph Haschka's review of Offshore: In Search of an Island of My Own". Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  17. ^ [dead link] [2]. Campaign for National Parks.
  18. ^ "Our Members". The Royal Geographical Society. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  19. ^ "The Chagos islanders' plight makes me ashamed to be British: The exiled islanders are desperate for the right to return to their homeland – but Britain seems determined to stop them". The Guardian. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  20. ^ "BBC Two – World's Most Dangerous Roads, Series 1, Peru". 19 July 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  21. ^ Staff (12 June 2009). "Ben Fogle 'Thrilled' To Become a Father after His Wife Marina Suffered a Miscarriage Last Year". Daily Mail. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  22. ^ [3]. Ben Fogle (via Twitter).
  23. ^ Staff (30 October 2008). "Fogle Catches a Flesh-Eating Bug". BBC News. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  24. ^ Communicator – The newsletter of the University of Portsmouth – Issue 19 – Autumn 2007 (PDF format; requires Adobe Reader).
  25. ^ Gladwell, Amy (20 February 2013). "Newsbeat – TV presenter Ben Fogle claims drink was spiked with drug". BBC. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 

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