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Ben Fogle ‘tempted to escape and live on remote island because of Brexit’

He said he believes people are finding the idea of escaping society in the wake of Brexit more appealing.


Ben Fogle says Brexit has given us a divided society (Ian West/PA)

Ben Fogle says Brexit has given us a divided society (Ian West/PA)

Ben Fogle says Brexit has given us a divided society (Ian West/PA)

Ben Fogle has said that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if there was an influx of people opting to live a life away from the normal constraints of society following Brexit.

The TV presenter and adventurer is planning to mark the 20th anniversary of his time on BBC reality series Castaway 2000 by heading to a remote location to re-live the experience with his wife and children next year.

He has said that the current political landscape is another reason he is keen to get away, because there is something “very appealing about the idea of escapism”.

I'm tempted. That's part of the inspiration for our plans as a family, to head off and live on an island.

Fogle told the Press Association: “This idea that we can dictate and we can direct our own lives is becoming more appealing.

“I think what Brexit and the whole political situation right now has shown up, is this power that is in other people’s hands. What happens with the Brexit fallout will affect all of us financially, politically, socially.

“And this idea that, actually, if you’re in the wilderness living in a tiny little structure you have built yourself, you make your own rules, you make your own destiny, and you’re your own boss.”

Fogle said that he believes Brexit has given us a “divided society”, and that to live in the wilderness means a simpler life focused on nature and survival.

Asked if he thinks more people will be escaping normal life after Brexit, Fogle said: “I really wouldn’t be surprised.

“I’m tempted. That’s part of the inspiration for our plans as a family, to head off and live on an island.”

Fogle, whose career in broadcasting started nearly 20 years ago in Castaway 2000, in which a group of adults and children built a community on the remote Scottish island of Taransay for a year, said he has considered going into politics himself.

He said: “I have said before that I would; my wife has said that she’d prefer that I’d go and climb K2.

“I’m definitely politically motivated, and I would love to, I just don’t think I’m the right person necessarily.

“I’m passionate about what’s going on, and I kind of feel if too many people sit back, closing their eyes, gripping on, hoping for the best, that’s where we’re going to end up with a massive car crash.

“I think people like me do need to be a bit more politicised. I have this ability to one day wake up and think, ‘yes I’m definitely going to do something’, and then the next day I think, ‘actually that’s a terrible idea, I’m far too thin-skinned’.”

Fogle, who is known for hosting programmes including the BBC’s Countryfile and ITV’s Countrywise along with a number of environmentally-focused shows, is soon heading out across the country on a tour, which he hopes will inspire people to take on new challenges.

He will recount some of his numerous adventures and expeditions, including his tales of swimming with crocodiles to climbing Mount Everest.

He said: “I want people to take something away from the evening. I don’t want the evening to just be an egotistical two hours all about me and, while it is all about me, I also want people to take something away.

“I want people to go away with a spring in their step and to feel empowered and to feel like they can take on their own challenges, and that life is just about the boundaries you set yourself.”

Ben Fogle’s Tales From The Wilderness tour starts on February 26 and continues through March, with new dates added for November.

PA Media