Simon Reeve, Ipswich Regent review: ‘He enthralled with tales of his exploits’
PUBLISHED: 15:16 01 October 2018 | UPDATED: 15:16 01 October 2018
An Audience with Simon Reeve at Ipswich’s Regent Theatre certainly achieved its aim in being inspirational.
Dressed in a casual, checked shirt, combat trousers and trainers, the intrepid travel show presenter implored the packed house to take advantage of the “golden age of travel” and bank some incredible memories. “Travel has never been cheaper and easier,” he said.
His outfit reflected the humility that is part of his charm, along with his passion for people and the environment, as well as cheeky sense of humour and have-a-go attitude.
He enthralled with tales of his exploits in making more than 100 programmes for the BBC that have seen him travel the world along the equator and tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
Keen to show the “light and dark” in the countries he visits, his “strange and wonderful job” has taken him to war zones and to meet terrorists, resulting in close calls with death.
Fixers involved in the shows have been tortured an imprisoned, leading him to admit that working in TV “is a privilege but is also a responsibility”.
The balance comes in that the production team he travels with are “sick of the hugs” that come with his emotion at seeing great beauty.
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Simon revealed how gang involvement, alcohol and mental-health problems blighted his teens and he flunked out of school on the brink of suicide.
But some advice to take things step by step became his mantra, and inspired him to conquer Scotland’s Glen Coe - and with it, his demons.
Getting his life back on track led him to a job in the post room of the Sunday Times and his big break leading to a career as a journalist, author and TV presenter travelling to about 130 countries.
After guiding us through the contents of his suitcase, which included armoured underwear, and showing us some inappropriate souvenirs, he offered a few tips to travellers. “Everyone should carry an axe,” he quipped.
But, his overall message was to encourage responsible travel, and how tourism should not be about exploitation, but protection and preservation.