TV Presenter, explorer and author
Described by the BBC’s Mark Thompson as being “Part of the history of television” Benedict is best known for being the first to record his arduous and treacherous exploits without a TV crew. His technique has been to sink into remote communities, placing himself in the hands and at the mercy of these people and their environment, learning to survive from them alone. By single-handedly capturing his experiences on film he has created ground breaking, spontaneous and authentic programming. He says "To me exploration isn't about conquering natural obstacles, planting flags... It's not about going where no one's gone before in order to leave your mark, but about the opposite of that – about making yourself vulnerable, opening yourself up to whatever's there and letting the place leave its mark on you."
Thirty years ago, Benedict lived in Papua New Guinea with the Niowra, a remote people. Intent on returning, Benedict re-visited the area along with BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner for BBC TWO's Birds of Paradise: The Ultimate Quest (2017) to fulfil Gardner's childhood dream of seeing Birds of Paradise and to be re-united with the community he last saw three decades ago.
In 2013 Benedict was included in the Daily Telegraph's list of Britain's "Great Explorers" – the only other living adventurer being Sir Ranulph Fiennes.
His presenting work includes the major eight-part reality epic Expedition Africa (2009) for the History Channel, Unbreakable (2008) for Channel Five, and Travellers’ Century (2008) for BBC4. His six BBC series include Skeleton Coast, Edge of Blue Heaven, Last of the Medicine Men and Ice Dogs. Recently, Benedict presented Adventures for Boys: The Lost World of Ryder Haggard, and was an expert contributor for BBC2’s Extreme Dreams.
Benedict has written two bestsellers, his 10 books include The Faber Book of Exploration and Into the Abyss. He has written numerous articles for magazines and newspapers, and is a hugely popular corporate motivational speaker. Benedict inspires and invigorates a variety of audiences by skillfully translating his ‘against the odds’ survival for the global corporate ‘jungle’. In 2010 Benedict became a trustee and member of council of the Royal Geographical Society.
Pictures courtesy of: Channel 5, Steve Watkins & Martin Hartley.