Interview: Ben Fogle discusses the return of Channel 5's New Lives in the Wild.

Hit Channel 5 series New Lives in the Wild is a fascinating and entertaining series in which Ben Fogle meets people who have given up the rat race in favour of a radically different lifestyle away from all mod-cons.

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 It’s back tonight for its 9th series, and Nothing But Entertainment caught up with Ben to find out more…

  

New Lives in the Wild Is a big hit for Channel 5, why do you think it connects so well with the audience?

The world is as fragile and unpredictable as it has ever been. The nation is divided and we are looking for something positive. The idea that we can step off the hamster wheel and unburden ourselves of the shackles of society is deeply appealing on so many levels. Connected as we are, we become material slaves to the monetary system in which we aspire to consume, but NLITW shows an alternative. A simpler. Humbler world with more happiness and less anger. 

How much research do you do before heading out somewhere? 

The research is down to the team. They find some amazing wild men and women to spend time with. We have filmed more than 50 over the years. I have spent more than a whole year of my life living with other people in the wilderness. I like to let the story unfold organically. 

 

What's fascinating is that as each episode unfolds, more often than not you manage to uncover some quite sad realities as to why these people have escaped. How do you go about building such a strong rapor with these people and how have you been affected by their stories? 

I build the rapport through honesty and integrity. I live with them. The story is about them not me. I stay with them and work with them even once the camera has stopped rolling. 

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Some of the terrains you've visited are incredible. What's been your most and least favourite location, and why? 

I didn’t particularly enjoy Hungry. It was wet, cold and muddy. I slept on a dog bed in the kitchen....with a muddy dog. 

 

Have you ever considered escaping yourself? If you did, where would you go and why? 

I spent a year living on an island in the Outer Hebrides nearly 20 years ago. I would love to do the same with my family. I would choose an island off a Norway or Sweden. 

 

Lastly you've done Everest, completed a UK tour, all sorts... What's next? 

I’d like to do the Vendee Globe 

 

New Lives in the Wild airs Tuesdays at 9pm on Channel 5.  Watch on-demand via My5.