THE heat was on for Chris Tarrant during filming of the latest of his Channel 5 railway series.
The former Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? host wanted to visit locations “closer to home” this time around.
But upon arriving in Morocco to shoot the first episode, the star and his crew faced pretty extreme conditions.
“We checked the temperature one day on the car temperature gauge – 54 degrees!” he exclaims. “I’ve never filmed in 54 degrees in my life.”
It was so hot, in fact, that his boot melted.
“The heel burnt off,” he elaborates. “It was like, ‘Come on Tarrant, we’ve got a schedule’. I went, ‘I know, but I’ve only got one shoe!’”
Exploring Morocco’s vast railway network sees Chris hop on a freight train on the way to Casablanca, ride a desert train south into the Sahara and even help workers clear sand off the tracks.
Considering he suffered a stroke in 2014, while flying to Heathrow from Bangkok, does he have to tell himself to slow down sometimes?
“I know it doesn’t sound like it, but I kind of have,” maintains Chris, who was rushed to hospital following the stroke and has since made a full recovery.
“You know, I’m not an idiot, I want to live.
“I was lucky. It was terrifying, I honestly thought I was going to die on that plane. It was easily the scariest moment of my life.
“I don’t work as hard. I worked so hard for so many years, and I thought, ‘What the hell did I do that for?’
“I eat very carefully and do a reasonable amount of exercise. And I don’t drink any whisky anymore, ever. I just used to drink too much.”
Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys, Channel 5, Monday, 9pm.