He famously spent a life-changing year on a Scottish island and yesterday Ben Fogle revealed he plans to go back for good.
The TV presenter and adventurer celebrated the 20th anniversary of Castaway – the series that made him a household name – by returning to the Outer Hebrides.
After giving a talk to 70 islanders on Luskentyre beach, he led a hardy group of 30 swimmers in the freezing sea opposite the island of Taransay where the TV castaways were marooned.
Fogle, 46, said: “I have been to a lot of places and this is the most beautiful place on Earth to me.
“I want at some stage to live here. I’m not at that stage of my life yet, but it is something I eventually want to do. I love it here. This is where my roots really are – where I feel at home.”
Fogle brought his Tales From The Wilderness tour to Luskentyre, often named among the most picturesque beaches in the world, and revealed he would like to return to the Hebrides with wife Marina and children Iona and Ludo.
It’s 20 years since Fogle was one of a group left to fend for themselves on the island of Taransay, off Harris, for the millennium BBC series Castaway 2000 – Britain’s first reality TV programme.
“2020 is a pretty big year for me. It marks 20 years from the time I was marooned on the island of Taransay for the BBC series Castaway,” said Ben, who was accompanied by his daughter Iona.
“I wanted to come back and thank the islanders. This still feels like home to me. Castaway changed me in so many ways, including internally. I was not the star of Castaway. The island of Taransay was, the Outer Hebrides was, Scotland was.”
He admitted it was “traumatic” leaving the island at the end of the year-long stay for the series, but it had led to huge opportunities for him.
“This is where it all began for me and I wanted to just say ‘thank you’, and highlight the precious environment we have here,” said Ben.
Last year he made an emotional trip back to Taransay, saying it was his “favourite place in the world”.He simply tweeted a picture of the island and wrote: “Home.”
Back in 2010 he tearfully returned to Taransay, along with 20 of the original 36 castaways for a tenth anniversary reunion.
Since Castaway, Ben, 46, has climbed Mount Everest, rowed across the Atlantic, raced across Antarctica to the South Pole and crossed the deserts of the Empty Quarter in the Middle East.
He has also presented numerous programmes for the BBC, ITV, Channel 5 and Discovery, including the hit series New Lives in the Wild.
Last week, Trish Prater, another of the show’s Castaways, told The Sunday Post how her time on Taransay had changed her life and encouraged her to live on the island of Rousay.
The reality TV pioneer now spends her days delivering the post and tending her land.