Last updated on January 30th, 2023 at 10:27 pm
Channel 5 has today announced a brand-new three-part series fronted by intrepid adventurer Ben Fogle, Endurance: Race to the Pole (w/t) sees the presenter return to Antarctica to re-live the Edwardian expeditions of Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen. The series was ordered by Denise Seneviratne, Commissioning Editor, Non-Scripted UK Originals, Channel 5 & Paramount+ and will be produced by October Films.
In 2009, explorer Ben Fogle defied his doubters and skied over 750km to the South Pole, pipped to the post by a Norwegian team. That life changing experience left him with one big question: how did the first, legendary polar explorers conquer that savage landscape?
In Endurance: Race to the Pole (w/t) (3 x 60’), Ben will return to Antarctica in search of these answers and experience first-hand some of the extremes that his polar heroes endured in their quest to conquer the unknown.
Whilst telling the extraordinary story of the race to the South Pole, Ben will re-live key moments of Scott’s, Shackleton’s and Amundsen’s contrasting expeditions in the early 1900s, using only their Edwardian equipment, food supplies and shelter. Immersing himself in their world, Ben will step back in time to bring the Channel 5 audience the most visceral and revealing insight into these exceptional men and their obsession with conquering the South Pole. There will also be a compelling dual narrative of Ben’s own experience alongside polar explorer Dwayne Fields who will accompany him on the journey.
Facing the physical and psychological real-life experiences that Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen lived through, Ben will understand the underlying heroism and sacrifice that made these men exceptional, despite their character flaws, their bitter rivalries, and their fatal mistakes. Ultimately, revealing why Amundsen triumphs, and why Shackleton and Scott fail, and Scott paid with his life.
As Ben celebrates the bravery of his polar heroes, he will also draw attention to their most important and legacy: opening up Antarctica’s unique role in highlighting our perilous ambitions for sustainability, seeing today’s stark reminders of how delicate our planet is.
Ben Fogle says: “This is a dream project for me. I have held a lifelong fascination with this period of heroic polar exploration and now I get the chance to experience immersive, living history myself by wearing the same clothes, eating the same type of food, pulling the same style sled and sleeping in the same canvas tent. This will give me a better understanding about the heroics and the sacrifices made by these brave men more than a hundred years ago in one of the harshest most unforgiving places on earth. Having raced to the pole myself in 2008 wearing modern equipment, now I get to experience the harsh Antarctic wilderness as they did.”
Denise Seneviratne, Commissioning Editor, Non-Scripted UK Originals, Channel 5 & P+, said: “We are thrilled to be continuing our relationship with Ben at Channel 5. This ambitious adventure will really push him to his limits and open up our understanding of the real heroics behind polar exploration, past and present. This series is immersive, experiential history which I think will really capture the imagination of our viewers .”
Endurance: Race to the Pole (w/t)(3 x 60’) was commissioned by Denise Seneviratne for Channel 5. It will be produced by October Films. The series will be Directed by Alexis Girardet who is also Series Producer, and Executive Produced by Adam Bullmore and Mike Warner.
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