Five minutes with...Simon Reeve

Friday, 4 May 2012 2:03 PM

Simon Reeve’s new series Indian Ocean with Simon Reeve airs on BBC2 on Sundays at 8.00pm.

Simon Reeve’s new series Indian Ocean with Simon Reeve airs on BBC2 on Sundays at 8.00pm.

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Adventurer, broadcaster and best-selling author Simon Reeve has travelled extensively in more than 100 countries. Having been around the world three times for the BBC series Equator, Tropic of Capricorn and Tropic of Cancer, he is currently filming his new series Indian Ocean with Simon Reeve. We caught up with him for a five minute chat about his travels.

On the things he hates spending money on when travelling…
I hate spending money on bottled water, anything I’ve forgotten, and any form of upgrade. People think we’re always getting upgrades, but it never happens. Sometimes I’m tempted to cough-up the extra, but then I think of my son, and how I’d be spending his inheritance, and I stick with the cheap seats.

On travel disasters…
I went away with my wife for a romantic weekend to a posh country house in Somerset before one TV series, and during the night flies kept buzzing out of the woodwork. I killed almost 30, and built a little pile of them. Then we both got food poisoning from the breakfast. My stomach had survived the worst village food the planet could chuck at it, so God knows what they’d done to the Full English. I wasn’t impressed. We fled home.

On collecting souvenirs…
Not anymore. I’m in a small flat, and there’s no space. My wife Anya has banned me from buying more stuff. I bring back photos and presents for other people. And great travel videos, courtesy of Jonathan and Craig, the magnificent cameramen who worked on my last series.

On his favourite city…
I love staying in London, where I was born and brought up. But as an alternative I’d say Istanbul. As everyone knows it’s where East meets West, but it’s also where the past, the present and the future collide. There’s a real buzz, amazing history, and great restaurants. Further afield, I love Maputo in Mozambique, which has a real Latin African feel, Sao Paulo, Dhaka in Bangladesh, New York. I’m a city boy at heart.

This is the time of year when a lot of people will be booking summer holidays; what would be your ideal two-week holiday?
I’d happily settle for two weeks exploring the Med now we’re a family. Island hopping in Greece is a great adventure that’s just a few hours from the UK. My wife speaks fluent Greek and is obsessed with the place.

Where, in your opinion, is the dullest place on earth?
English seaside towns in February.

Tell us three things that frustrate you about travel/holidays.
Airports, bureaucrats, crappy beds.

On the scariest places he’s travelled to…
And I had a few experiences when I was investigating terrorism in my earlier life when I thought I’m not going to make it out alive. But I think the scariest place on the planet is probably the front seat in a car zooming along Indian roads. On this last journey we were playing chicken as trucks were coming the wrong way down the road towards us in our lane. It went on for hour after hour. I was a nervous wreck.

On his new series…
It’s called Indian Ocean, and – guess what – it’s all about the Indian Ocean. Not just life under the waves, but life around the edge as well. We started in South Africa and worked our way up the east coast of the continent, then round India and back down through Indonesia to the south west of Australia. It was my most exotic adventure, because we went to the lovely Seychelles and the Maldives, but also my most extreme, because we were on the frontline in Mogadishu in Somalia, one of the most dangerous places on the planet.

Simon Reeve’s new series Indian Ocean with Simon Reeve airs on BBC2 on Sundays at 8.00pm.

You can find more information on Simon’s Official Website.

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