One of the Greatest British Explorers?
Always lovely to be acknowledged, though I was surprised to be given this accolade recently by the Daily Telegraph. The only other living person on the list was Sir Ranulf Fiennes. The photo shown of me in the gallery is from the TV series Icedogs, so I hope those who generously included me were not swayed by my high TV profile. The actual "exploring" bit on my career was really before the TV years - when I crossed the Amazon Basin, contacted remote indigenous groups and so on, and with the unusual modus operandi of not taking companions, communications or "backup." Then I pioneered the recording of extreme adventure for TV, so perhaps got extra points for that. Even so, there are a lot of VERY illustrious names not included on the list. See what you think... Here's the link:
I've been something of a recluse for the last three years - you might not have noticed. At last, last night, I completed my huge novel on the Congo - which is where I've been, at least in my head, all this time. I suppose that the same characteristics of my expeditions - immersion and disappearance into "another world" have come into play here. Anyway, I am not - not completely, because I need now to sort my publisher, and who knows what any publisher might think of it. I can say little more than it's a very large book as it stands, and deals with the Congo Free State - visited by Joseph Conrad in his boat piloting days, and the inspiration for Heart Of Darkness, his classic novella. My book, a very much larger novel, is centred on this same era. It may never see the light of day - who knows. I do think though that, dealing as it does with indigenous cultures, "jungle" isolation, and exploration history (and natural history) few people could have written it.
This website is long-overdue a re-evamp - and that'll take place shortly, I hope. I do occasionally tweet - and this is also a way that I give news of events and so on.
Swindon Literary Festival (Monday 13th May, at 8pm)
Do come along - I'm speaking on the subject of adventure with animals. I'll do my best to come up with new stories and, if possible, insights! See: www.swindonfestivalofliterature.co.uk