After university I started an internship at Tatler, where I was surrounded by beautiful women, and was lucky enough to be promoted to picture editor even though I had no experience in photography. But I was frustrated because after a few gap years travelling, I wanted more adventure.
They wanted volunteers to be marooned on an island called Taransay in the Outer Hebrides for a year and I jumped at the chance to be a real-life Robinson Crusoe. Ben Fogle jumped at the chance to take part in a reality show called Castaway in which he was marooned on an island in the Outer Hebrides for a year. The series was called Castaway and it was one of the very first reality shows. There were 36 castaways in all, including families with young children and singles like me, and we were allowed to take one luxury, so I chose a black Labrador puppy called Inca.
Everyone else seemed to have a life skill that would help us to be self-sufficient on an island for a whole year. We had a farmer, a butcher, a doctor, a teacher, and I had a second-rate degree in Latin American studies and could speak a bit of Spanish! But I've always been a bit of a peacemaker, and I like to think I tried to bond the group together. I was also a hard grafter and willing to get my hands dirty. When we first arrived we had to cut tons of turf to put on the pods that we lived in, and roll out water pipes, plant crops, and milk cows.
We also had to slaughter pigs and sheep, and on my first attempt at wringing a chicken's neck I couldn't do it and ended up in tears. Before I went to the island I was very shy and insecure in myself. Being there gave me this confidence that I'd achieved something that not everyone else in the world had done.
Ben says that his trip to Taransay was a steep learning curve into the realities of life and the importance of green issues. That year on Taransay opened my eyes to so much more than just an opportunity to be part of the world of television. It was a steep learning curve into the realities of life and the importance of green issues. Taransay meant so much to me that I took my wife Marina there for our honeymoon and my dream is still to move to an island like that with my family one day.
When I left, I made the most of the following year, going to East Timor to report on the civil war for Hello! And since then I've had many life-changing adventures filmed for TV, including racing across the Antarctic, swimming from Alcatraz to San Francisco and rowing the Atlantic with Olympic Gold Medallist James Cracknell, during which I nearly met my maker. If I hadn't gone to Taransay, I don't believe I'd have gone into television, or be married to my wife — I met Marina while walking Inca in the park.
And none of it would have happened if I hadn't opened the newspaper that day. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. The day that changed my life, Ben Fogle: Share this article Share. Share or comment on this article e-mail. Most watched News videos Horrifying moment dashcam shows lorry ploughing into two cars Busted! Strictly star Claudia Winkleman's new agony as her royal Divers find the body of missing three-year-old Mariah Matt Lauer and his wife 'have been living apart for Terrifying video shows moment Eddie Stobart lorry driver Harry 'wanted a celebrity wife': Prince told friend 'only Storm in a teacup!
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