Ben Fogle announces major career move but knows some will 'be sceptical’

Ben Fogle said some people may not believe the extraordinary story

Watch Ben Fogle announces major career move

What did you miss?

Ben Fogle has voiced his hopes to make a film from the astonishing story that emerged in his latest episode of New Lives in the Wild.

The adventurer, 50, jetted to the Columbian jungle to meet musician Vanessa Forero who is living alone in her mountainside home. The singer confided in the TV journalist about her mother Marina Chapman’s extraordinary story of how she was raised by apes in the jungle.

Now Fogle revealed his plans on Good Morning Britain to make a film on the topic – even though he recognises many people will be "sceptical" about the story. Speaking to Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard, he opened up about the emotional encounter on the New Lives in the Wild.

Ben Fogle talked about his hopes to make a film. (ITV screengrab)
Ben Fogle talked about his hopes to make a film. (ITV screengrab)

What, how and why?

Ben Fogle: New Lives in the Wild has been on air since 2013 and Fogle has travelled all over the world to hear the fascinating stories of those living in the remotest parts of the world. The broadcast journalist said he is a "good judge of character" and therefore knows the story about Marina can only be "true".

He said: "You couldn’t make it up. There would be a lot of people who would be sceptical about this. A lot of people were kidnapped. No one really knows. We speculate she was five years old, she didn't know her name, she gave herself the name Marina."

Vanessa Forero tells Ben Fogle her story on New Lives In The Wild. (Channel 5)
Vanessa Forero tells Ben Fogle her story on New Lives In The Wild. (Channel 5)

He added: "I’ve met her up in Yorkshire, last year I went to see her. There will be lots of people who will watch, thinking is this true? I'm a good judge of character... I know the story is true. How long she was in the jungle we don't really know. What’s fascinating is that Vanessa ends up in the jungle."

The TV personality lifted the lid on why he would love to make a film about it. He further explained: "I've always wanted to make a film. Makes the perfect topic. I'm hoping we’ll return. This is one of 12 shows. We’ve been making this for 13 years. Every time I travel to a new place i never know what will be inside the box, the mystery parcel. The fantastic stories." At the interview, he teased about the potential of a film: "Watch this space!"

What else happened?

Ben Fogle said he had been moved to tears. (Channel 5)
Ben Fogle said he had been moved to tears. (Channel 5)

Reflecting on his job, Fogle said the "responsibility" of telling people's stories in the right way can "weigh a lot" on him. He explained: "They become a big part of my life, whether they realise it or not. I absorb all these stories. It does weigh a lot on me, I feel a great responsibility for these stories and their safety and health."

Throughout the series made up of 110 individuals, couples and families, he explained only a handful have decided to return to "normal" lives. "The majority have gone deeper into their off grid lifestyle," he shared. Fogle said at first it was mainly men who lived off grid but now there are a lot of "strong" women and young people choosing to live this alternative lifestyle. "There have been lots of changes over the years I've been doing this," he said.

While he would love to do it himself, he realises his family love being around their friends. "I love my lifestyle in rural Buckinghamshire with my family, they have their friends," he said. "I am happy to live vicariously through other people. I love the idea of it."

It has been 25 years since Fogle rocketed to fame on reality series Castaway. Reid and Shephard played a clip back to the star. "I loved the whole experience, it changed my whole life," he said. "I love that I go visit modern day versions now. I'm touring theatres now to piece together all the elements of my wildest experiences."

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