Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Wednesday 08 February 2017

Going On A Bear Hunt: TV World Traveller Ian Wright Takes A Tough Boat To The Artic

With his hearty cackle and ever-ready ability to crack a joke, TV world traveller Ian Wrightis truly living the dream. But he"ll need his wits about him on his next adventure, as he ventures deep into the Arctic in search of colder climates, cod and carnivorous critters.

In a lot of ways, Ian Wright isn't your typical TV traveller; he didn't get his first televised gig until he was 28, and he sure isn't going to be found out for feigning his expeditions while secretly living in the lap of luxury off-camera. 

Wright's unique brand of infectiously enthusiastic exploration has made him a firm favourite since his time on Globe Trekker , and his newest adventure on Travel Channel's aptly-titled Tough Boats saw the Suffolk-born Wright land himself aboard a working trawler in the middle of the coldest part of the Pacific.

Thankfully for Wright, the choppy seas didn't pose as much of a problem to him as they might to the average landlubber – and he was determined to put forward a good showing for our little island's proud maritime history.

"If you're on a fishing trawler in the Bering Sea, the freezing Arctic, for two weeks then seasickness wouldn't bode well - that's the worst thought," he laughs. 

"Because I've done a few little boat trips I thought I'd just see how it went, I thought I was being stupid but in the end I had quite good sea legs. 

"The director felt bad for a little while because it was very up and down, but the mad thing is you look at that water going up and down like that and all the trawler-men were like 'Oh this is nothing darling, don't worry about this! This is calm!""

Those hardened seafarers didn't just teach Wright and the crew about what does or does not constitute a maelstrom, but they also opened his eyes to the finer points of what we in Britain might consider common ocean cuisine.

"Cod for me is the most boring fish on the plate," the 51-year-old declares. "I love fish and chips but it's more about the batter and the chips and all that. But cod is just this white, rubbery nonsense - it's flavourless. 

"And I asked the trawler-men what the best fish was, and I thought they'd say halibut because we caught a massive 50-pounder and they were cutting that up and hoofing that down.

"But they said no, it's always cod, and they went down into the kitchen - this cod had been caught two hours before in the cold Bering Sea, and then it's on your plate.

Swear to God, I thought I'd tasted cod, but I definitely had not. What we have is rubbish. Sometimes it's frozen twice, the stuff we get. That was the best fish I've ever tasted - nothing like I've ever had before, absolutely mad, so good! It was sensational!"

Having made his way to Longyearbyen in Svalbard, Wright left the company of cod fisherman to seek a larger, land-roaming prize. 

Hopping aboard an icebreaker, the presenter went off into the Arctic wilderness in search of the rare and fearsome polar bear.

"Although it's beautiful and majestic and everything that you can imagine, it also looks like the most powerful thing on earth," he effuses. 

"If that gave you one of those death stares you'd be thinking it's all over for me! So although it's stunning, you got that shudder of power because it might look beautiful and chilled out but you know underneath that it's a killer."

But the bears weren't the only animal to pop in on Wright's Arctic escapade.

"We were also out on the boat and seeing walruses, and that was just as exciting and mind-blowing," he says

"They came up right by the boat, so we were almost within touching distance. And they look like old men with those big handlebar moustaches - all like 'What's going on here?'"

For all his joking, however, Wright is quite to remind us that these kind of sites can't be taken for granted – especially in a place where the sea-ice is melting at an unprecedented rate year on year, leaving less and less habitat for the creatures who call the Arctic their home.

"It's like that thing when you see a whale or something, you get that sad, hippy thing of the 'Oh the whale's so large, I'm so small and insignificant'," Wright concludes.

"But you can't help it. These things are so rare, and you rarely see things that are twice the size of you out in the wild, that you should feel like that."

Tough Boats continues in The Arctic on Wednesday 15th February on Travel Channel, 9pm.

by: Jake Taylor - via Interview Hub




Share    


Following this week's blanket media coverage of Born Free Co-Founder, Virginia McKenna OBE's, appeal to the Antiques Roadshow to cease featuring ivory items and the BBC's decision to review its ivory policy, the Horsham-based international wildlife conservation charity, has launched an Ivory Amnesty aimed at people who no longer wish to have any ivory items in their possession.
Pic by Wolf James

Described as “the love child of INXS, The Maccabees and The National”, five-piece To Kill A King return with their first record since 2015 - a collection of semi-mythic, semi-autobiographical tunes.
See Foot Of Article For Photo Credits

Gary Cook, director of the Southwick Players upcoming production of The Turn of the Screw, talks to his producer Anita Jones about the play.
40 Shillings On The Drum Credit Andy Sturmey

Brighton's raucous punk-folk five-piece 40 Shillings on the Drum have joined sextet Skinny Lister, emerging rapper Chiedu Oraka, singer-songwriter Sean McGowan, Brighton punk pop outfit Jetstream Pony, and Hastings' indie rockers Kid Kapichi on the bill of Hastings Fat Tuesday Music Festival 2018, the UK's largest Mardi Gras celebration.
The Damned (c) John Ingham 1977

Over forty years since their initial explosion across the fledgling London punk scene, and some ten years since the release of their last studio recordings, British punk legends The Damned are set to return in 2018 with both new material and - as part of a UK tour - a date on the South Coast.

Black Deer Festival takes place in the beautiful surroundings of Eridge Park, Britain's oldest deer park, located on the Kent/East Sussex border near Tunbridge Wells, and you can expect an array of authentic americana-style meats, smokey whiskeys, bespoke custom bike showcases, storytellings from cultural pioneers, not to mention a line-up of artists across the Americana, blues, roots, authentic country, folk and bluegrass genres.  
Paola St George

A brand-new radio show about mental health is being launched by Brighton community radio station RadioReverb as part of their new 2018 schedule. 

There will be no unwelcome re-entry as the promised meteoric rise of Brighton five-piece, 40 Shillings on the Drum, shows no sign of abating. In fact, 2018 is gearing up to be the year of the 'Shillings', as the next twelve months will see them unleash a live album, début studio album and a plethora of live dates.

A 23-year-old man will be donning his running shoes to tackle a 100km run, in a bid to raise more than £425 for Alzheimer's Society. Max Cross will be taking on the South Coast Challenge from Eastbourne to Hove, over two days, on 25 and 26 August 2018.

Lights of Roman numerals illuminate the ice, the Brighton Centre house lights go down, a circular platform glides to centre stage, and a man sat in an armchair watches a video on his projector while a woman dances around him to a romantic tune.

Brighton Festival & The Voice Project are inviting singers (aged over 16) to join a unique new choral project, The Arms of Sleep, as part of Brighton Festival 2018.
Pic by Sam Shaw

The Glyndebourne Opera Cup 2018 focuses on the work of Mozart - each biennial edition of the competition will focus on a different composer or era. 

With tickets for his Brighton Centre show sold out in minutes and a number one solo album packed with top quality tunes, Liam Gallagher is at the toppermost of the poppermost.

On the back of last weekend's gig at Sticky Mike's Frog Bar, in Brighton, Jordan Allen are releasing new single and firm live favourite, R.O.S.I.E.

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...






Latest Brighton Jobs


Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd