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Alex is a self-confessed history nerd and award-winning researcher, with a love of travel and storytelling. Alex co-founded award-winning independent production company Grammar Productions, with the intention of making innovative documentaries that delve deeper into history and how it affects the lives of people and societies around the world today. His work has taken him to some of the less-travelled corners of the world, including the back-country of Sierra Leone, the remote Peruvian Andes and the insurgent-ridden southern Philippines. He learned to understand these very different places through studying their histories – best done by forming close bonds with the people who live there. His most recent project and passionate labour of love, has involved filming over several years in far-flung corners of Myanmar. We Were Kings, winner of the prestigious 2016 Whicker's World Foundation Funding Award, will premiere at the British Library as part of OpenCity Docs Festival on September 9th. You can watch a short trailer of We Were Kings here, as well as Alex's brand new showreel here.
Ash Bhardwaj is an adventure filmmaker and travel writer. His assignments have included travelling to Everest with wounded British soldiers, meeting the Area Boys of Lagos in Nigeria, trekking through Sudan’s Bayuda Desert and making a pilgrimage with his father’s ashes to the source of the River Ganges. In 2014, Ash joined Levison Wood for 700 miles of his Walking The Nile expedition, filming extensively in Uganda and the Sahara. More recently, he filmed part of C4’s Walking The Himalayas and also accompanied Levison Wood during the Honduras leg of his expedition Walking The Americas. Ash previously taught secondary school Chemistry and Physics and he continues to volunteer in education, mentoring 6th formers. His articles have appeared in the Daily Telegraph, The Times, Huffington Post, Evening Standard, Sunday Times Travel and BA Highlife, amongst many others. In 2014 he commissioned as an Officer in the British Army Reserve, where he serves in The Rifles. Ash recently appeared in an on-screen role in the new series 'On The Run', airing internationally on Insight (Sky 564).
James Evans is an author, historian and television producer specialising in history documentaries. After achieving a first in History at Oxford, James went on to pursue his PhD, focusing on perceptions of the nationality question in the new state of Yugoslavia after WWI. His doctoral thesis was published by I.B.Tauris in 2005. James has subsequently carved a successful career in television, working with the likes of David Starkey, Niall Ferguson, Michael Wood and David Reynolds, with broadcast credits including Battle Castles, Western Civilisation, The Story of England and Long Shadow. Merchant Adventurers: The Voyage of Discovery That Transformed Tudor England was James’ critically-acclaimed first book for a wider market, published by W&N in the UK and Pegasus in the US. James' new book 'Emigrants: Why The English Sailed To The New World' explores the stories of the ordinary English men and women who risked crossing the Atlantic in the 17th century to find a better life. It was published in the UK by Weidenfeld & Nicolson on July 6th 2017. You can watch a short clip of James here.
John Hudson is the UK military’s chief survival instructor, designing and implementing the training of instructors in Land, Sea, and Extreme Environment Survival. Prior to joining the RAF as a helicopter pilot, John studied Product Design at Leeds College of Art. He has penned the joint services survival training manual, revised the RAF’s aide memoir found in all military aircraft survival packs and advised on the UK’s SERE (Survive Evade Resist Extract) training film, watched by all service personnel before deployment overseas. A co-founder of Survival Wisdom, offering specialist survival training to civilians, John has been a resident expert on two series of Discovery’s “Dude, You’re Screwed’ (‘Survive That’ in the UK), putting his expertise to the test in some of the planet’s most demanding environments. Amongst others, John has survived the elements in Asian and Central American jungles, the Arctic Circle and the high altitudes of the Atacama Desert. He is currently writing his first book, details of which will be announced later in the year. You can watch John's brand new showreel for 2017 here.
Amy Hughes is an endurance runner, adventurer and personal trainer. In 2014, Amy ran an incredible 53 marathons in 53 consecutive days. This achievement secured her the no. 27 spot in the Telegraph’s Top 100 Britons of 2014. She also made the Runner’s World Top 5 Running Heroes of 2014 and ‘Running Moment of the Year’ at the prestigious Running Awards. In 2016, Amy took on another epic endeavour - the 7 Day Treadmill Challenge - running 521 miles in one week and breaking the world record in the process. Amy strives to inspire young people to keep fit, both through her work as a Dame Kelly Holmes Trust athlete and via her charity ‘The 53 Foundation’, which helps disabled people become more active. Amy's brand work has included Panache Role Models, working as a judge for Jack Wills' Young Brits Awards, fronting Zakti Activewear's 2017 marathon training campaign and a highly successful blog sharing running advice on RedBull Online. Her first TV series 'On The Run', which was filmed in Ecuador, aired recently on Insight (Sky 564). Amy now has her sights set on a major international challenge for late 2017. You can watch a lovely film about her inspiration and motivation here.
Alastair Humphreys is an adventurer, author, motivational speaker, filmmaker and photographer. After completing his Zoology degree at Edinburgh and a PGCE at Oxford, Alastair spent over four years cycling round the world, a journey of 46,000 miles through sixty countries and five continents. More recently, he has walked across southern India, rowed across the Atlantic, run six marathons through the Sahara, completed a crossing of Iceland and participated in an expedition in the Arctic. He has also trekked 1000 miles across the Empty Quarter desert and 120 miles round the M25 - one of his pioneering microadventures. Alastair is the author of 9 books, including Microadventures: Local Discoveries, Great Escapes (William Collins), a concept he devised, which resulted in him being named a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. His follow-up book 'Grand Adventures' was published in March 2016 to great critical acclaim and his recent brand partnerships include collaborations with Victorinox, Easyjet, GoPro, Destination Canada, Wrangler, Cartier and Brancott Estate. He is also a proud ambassador for Haglofs and Viewranger.
Henry Jeffreys worked in the wine trade for two years, before moving into publishing, where under the name Blake Pudding he was a founder member of the London Review of Breakfasts and contributor to the Breakfast Bible (Bloomsbury, 2013). Since 2010 he has been writing mainly about drink, books and popular culture under his own name, with articles featured in the Daily Telegraph, Time Out, the Spectator and Foxed Quarterly, amongst others. He was the wine columnist for The Lady magazine for three years and more recently the Guardian's regular drinks columnist. He is currently a contributing wine critic for the BBC Good Food Wine Club in association with Laithwaites and a judge on the BBC Food & Farming Awards 2017. Henry's latest book Empire of Booze, a history of Britain told via the nation's penchant for alcoholic drinks, was published by Unbound in November 2016 to great critical acclaim, with rave reviews in the Guardian, Spectator and Daily Mail, amongst others. In spring 2017, it was also voted Debut Drink Book of the Year at the Fortnum & Mason Awards. Henry was recently invited to the USA to promote Empire of Booze and discuss Britain's 'special relationship' with alcohol, including an entertaining interview on CNBC, which you can watch here. Henry is also to be found blogging at Henry's World of Booze.
Leon McCarron is a Northern Irish adventurer, filmmaker, writer and motivational speaker. His expeditions include walking 3000 miles across China, filmed for the Nat Geo series Walking Home From Mongolia and riding a bicycle 14,000 miles from New York to Hong Kong. His resulting book The Road Headed West was published by Summersdale in July 2014. Leon has also trekked 1000 miles across the Empty Quarter desert with fellow adventurer Alastair Humphreys and their feature-length film Into The Empty Quarter, which premiered at the Royal Geographical Society, was a finalist at the Banff Mountain Film Festival. In late 2014, Leon travelled to Patagonia, where he explored the route of the Santa Cruz River on horseback with filmmaker Tom Allen, who he also worked with on a documentary about their journey travelling the length of the Karun River in Iran. The resulting film 'Karun' appeared on the adventure film festival circuit throughout 2016. Leon has recently finished writing 'The Land Beyond', a new book based on his expedition experiences of walking 1000 miles through Jordan, Palestine and the Sinai Peninsula. The book will be published by I.B.Tauris in September 2017. He has also been announced as the 2017 recipient of the RGS's prestigious Neville Shulman Challenge Award. You can watch Leon's brand new 2017 showreel here.
Amanda Owen is a shepherdess, farmer’s wife, mother to nine children, a passionate photographer and a Sunday Times bestselling author. Seen by millions on ITV's The Dales and Ben Fogle's New Lives In The Wild, Amanda and her family live a life that has almost gone in today's modern world, one ruled by the seasons and her animals. Home is Ravenseat, a 2000 acre hill farm at the head of Swaledale in North Yorkshire, one of the highest, most remote places in England. Amanda's first book 'The Yorkshire Shepherdess' (Sidgwick & Jackson), was published in April 2014, offering an honest, inspiring account of her transformation from Huddersfield townie to rural sheep farmer. The paperback of her second book 'A Year In The Life Of The Yorkshire Shepherdess', published in spring 2017, headed straight to number 2 in the Sunday Times charts, spending 5 weeks in the top 10. A 2018 calendar of Amanda's photography is now available and Amanda also has her own weekly column in the Sunday Mirror and quarterly column in the Countryman. She recently appeared as a regular contributor on ITV1's 'Countrywise' and will appear on R4's 'Museum of Curiosity' later this summer. You can find out more about Amanda’s day-to-day family life and the joys and challenges of farming on her popular twitter feed @amandaowen8.
Pip is an adventurer, writer, filmmaker and trained meditation instructor. A self-proclaimed hippy at heart, with a passion for health and wellbeing, Pip is a firm believer that connecting with people and the great outdoors is good for the soul. Pip studied History & Politics at Oxford University and subsequently lived and worked in Asia for five years as an anchor and reporter in Hong Kong and Malaysia, producing travel multimedia stories for the Telegraph, BBC, CNN and South China Morning Post, amongst others. Pip’s journey back to Britain in 2013, to take up her current role as the Adventure Editor for Red Bull Online, was an epic year-long 10,000 mile biking trek, starting in Kuala Lumpur and taking in 26 countries. Most recently, Pip’s passion for travel took her on a 3000 mile cycle, boat and small plane journey exploring Brazil and Peru and raising awareness of the environmental issues in the region. From the mouth of the Amazon River in the Atlantic, finishing in Lima at the Pacific, Pip documented the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest and its devastating effect on the local indigenous communities. Pip is currently working alongside Third Line Productions on a six-part documentary series, ‘Transamazonica’, currently airing globally. You can watch the trailer here.
Levison Wood is an explorer, photographer, broadcaster and best-selling author. After studying History at Nottingham, Levison attended Sandhurst and served as an Officer in the British Parachute Regiment, including Operation Herrick 8 in Afghanistan. Levison’s journalism has taken him to Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, North and South Sudan, most of Sub-Saharan Africa, India, Nepal and South East Asia, with his resulting work featuring in the Times, Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph and National Geographic, amongst others. In late 2014, Levison completed a 9 month expedition walking the length of the Nile, which was filmed for a Channel 4/Animal Planet series, airing January 2015. His book about his experiences was published by Simon & Schuster and swiftly became a Sunday Times bestseller. In November 2015, Lev completed his epic Walking The Himalayas expedition. The resulting 5 x 60' series aired on Channel 4, with Lev's account of his journey published by Hodder & Stoughton in the UK, where it was voted Adventure Travel Book of the Year at the Edward Stanford Awards. Lev's latest expedition Walking The Americas aired as a 4 x 60' series on C4, with Hodder publishing Lev's book of the same name in February 2017. It swiftly became a Sunday Times bestseller, accompanied by a sell-out theatre tour. Lev has recently returned from his latest expedition. Details to be revealed soon.