Documentary maker Simon Reeve coming to Southend this September
PUBLISHED: 10:30 31 July 2018 | UPDATED: 16:06 31 July 2018
Simon Reeve is a world-famous documentary maker, a New York Times bestselling author and an international traveller, so what will he make of his visit to Southend? Words: Kate Everett
From being hounded by the KGB and tracking lions to wearing bulletproof underwear in the most dangerous city in the world and encountering some of the world’s most extraordinary characters, Simon Reeve’s incredible travel adventures have been documented in a series of fascinating BBC programmes which have featured Russia, the Caribbean, Sacred Rivers, the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator.
Now, in his first live tour, Simon will be offering a captivating and educational insight into the world at large, along with a shocking, inspirational and hilarious look at the world, and the life of the man who left school at 17 with no real qualifications and yet has become one of the most respected travel journalists on the planet.
“I wasn’t born into a life of adventure; I’m 45 now and I had never been on a plane until I started work,” says Simon. “I had no real aspirations at 17, and it never occurred to me that anything like that was possible.”
After working in a variety of short-term jobs, including one day in a jewellery shop and the MoD for half a day, Simon’s break came when he got a job in the mail room of a national newspaper.
“I was instantly fascinated with what was going on around me, and I must have been naturally inquisitive and brave,” explains Simon. “I started doing missions for the writers and investigators, and by the time I was 19 I was following arms dealers with a walkie talkie from Heathrow Airport.
“Through that I got interested in investigating terrorism and at the age of 21 I started researching the 1993 attack on the World Trade Centre. I just knew in my gut there was more to it than was being widely reported and I wrote a book about Al-Qaeda entitled The New Jackals: Ramzi Yousef, Osama bin Laden and the future of terrorism. Then 9/11 happened and suddenly the world wanted to talk to me.”
Simon was approached by the BBC to document his adventures in little-known parts of the world. The ensuing years have seen him travel tirelessly to far-flung corners of the earth and make 20 television series sharing his shocking, inspiring and informative global adventures with millions of viewers.
“One of the things I’m most proud about the programmes I make is that they are watched and enjoyed by anyone from eight upwards,” Simon explains. “I want people to realise that they can travel more adventurously. Sitting by a pool isn’t where the best memories lie.
“I’ve stared down the barrel of large guns and been in some tricky situations, but if you keep your wits about you, I have always believed you can do almost anything. Now I’m a bit older and I have a naughty son Jake who is six years old, it has given me a slightly different take on the world. I’m less willing to go and die in a foreign country, but I will never stop exploring. I’m just a bit more careful because I want to come home to my family.”
In An Audience with Simon Reeve, Simon will share compelling behind the scenes anecdotes and tales from more than 15 years of his travel to the most remote and extreme corners of the planet, including exclusive multi-media footage.
“I’m going to be travelling around the country, talking about my life, how I got this job in the first place and my adventures along the way. I’m looking forward to interacting with the audience, answering questions and, who knows, maybe inspiring a few would-be adventurers.”
Find out more
An Audience with Simon Reeve is on Sunday, September 30 at Westcliff Palace Theatre in Southend. Visit southendtheatres.org.uk