A wildlife presenter on the Discovery Channel
After leaving school, he briefly considered joining the Indian Army and hiked in the Himalayan mountains of Sikkim and West Bengal. Eventually, he joined the Territorial Army and, after passing selection, served as a reservist with the SAS in 21 SAS Regiment (Artists) (Reserve), for three years until 1997.
In 1996, he suffered a free-fall parachuting accident in Zambia. His canopy ripped at 16,000 ft, partially opening, causing him to fall and land on his parachute pack on his back, which partially crushed three vertebrae. He later said: “I should have cut the main parachute and gone to the reserve but thought there was time to resolve the problem”. According to his surgeon, he came “within a whisker” of being paralyzed for life and at first it was questionable whether he would ever walk again. He spent the next 12 months in and out of military rehabilitation.
In a showcase of what pure determination and hard work can do, on 16 May 1998 he achieved his childhood dream climbed to the summit of Mount Everest, 18 months after breaking three vertebrae in a parachuting accident.