TV

Adventurer Steve Backshall says his danger days are over – for three good reasons


Steve Backshall is taking fewer risks now he’s got children.

The TV adventurer, 48, fears a spill while making a daredevil series could leave son Logan, three, and one-year-old twins Kit and Willow without a dad.

So after more than 20 years of putting his life on the line, he is being more careful.

He told the Daily Star Sunday: “Being a dad does change the way you look at the danger aspect of what you do.

“That was a big part of the reason why I have started to focus more on wildlife and conservation than dangerous stuff.



Steve Backshall
Steve Backshall prepares to take on the first descent of the Kronotsky River

“On the last series of my show Expedition there were a couple of moments that were way too dangerous. I was very lucky to survive. I didn’t want to be putting myself in that situation again.”

Steve has always been up front with his loved ones about the risks he has faced in some of the world’s most dangerous places.

But his wife – Olympian Helen Glover, 35 – is just as fearles, so he doesn’t have to tell any white lies.

He said: “I will always tell Helen what I’m going to be doing. Because she’s an athlete she is very physical and loves the outdoors.



Brown bear
Steve had to be aware of some big critters like this brown bear

“Given the opportunity, she would love to be on these expeditions with me, so obviously there’s no sense in me hiding any of the danger from her.”

Despite his vow to be more careful, Steve still managed to find himself taking some risks while filming the new series of Expedition.

It saw him tackling white-water kayaking on the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia, which had never been
attempted before.



Steve and wife Helen Glover
Steve and wife Helen Glover attend the Pride Of Britain Awards

Steve said: “Expeditions are always physical. You have to go into them in a good physical condition. This time we did some very physical stuff.

“The white-water kayaking was full on. There were sections of the river that were beyond the limits of anything commercially available to people.

“We also had to carry about half a tonne of equipment through a rainforest. If we did 200m in an hour then we were doing pretty well.



Steve Backshall
Steve Backshall kayaks the rapids of the Kronotsky River

“It was 95% humidity and 35 degree heat. We were all absolutely wrecked after that.”

Steve and his crew also faced a danger they hadn’t encountered before – coronavirus restrictions that almost left them stranded in Gabon.

They had a race against time to flee before the country went into lockdown.

He said: “We had to drive across the country to get back to the capital. It was like something out of a Hollywood movie.

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The crew
The crew prepares to film the launch of the kayaks

“The capital was barricaded, people were trying to climb over and there were armed guards all around.

“They snuck us through to get out of the country. We got out by the skin of our teeth. After three weeks in the rainforest, it was a very frightening return to reality.”

● Expedition with Steve Backshall starts next Sunday at 8pm on Dave and available to catch-up on UKTV Play.





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