Steve Backshall’s extreme adventures also include being part of the Lost Land of the Tiger (2010), Lost Land of the Volcano (2009) and The Last Land of the Jaguar (2008). He made his first descent into an unexplored sinkhole for the Emmy-nominated epic Expedition Borneo (2007) and trekked to the heart of America’s most inhospitable terrain for Expedition Alaska (2008).
In 1997, Steve attempted to walk solo across the western half of New Guinea before exploring the jungles of Colombia, selling his pilot programme idea to the National Geographic Channel who employed him in 1998 as their Adventurer in Residence. He created a number of shows for the channel including A Walk in the Desert where he walked across Israel’s Negev Desert, Bootcamp (2008) where he trained with the Israeli special forces, and Cracking the Canyon which was nominated for Best Adventure Film at the Banff Mountain Film Festival.
He then moved to the BBC, presenting The Really Wild Show (1986-2006) where he travelled around Australia, Central America, the Galapagos and Southern Africa. He competed with fellow naturalist Nick Baker in a series of wildlife challenges with long-standing host Michaela Strachan. After four years, he joined the BBC Natural History Unit’s expedition team. This included searching Borneo for new species, exploring the passages behind the Solo sinkhole in the Mulu Mountains, and ascending the north side of Mount Kuli.
He was also commissioned for a number of other programmes including Deadly 60 which was sold to 157 countries worldwide, Ultimate Caving (2007) alongside Kate Humble, Secret Wilderness Japan (2009), Supergiants (2013), Nature Microworlds (2011-2016), Big Blue Live alongside Matt Baker and Liz Bonnin, Steve Backshall’s Extreme Mountain Challenge (2016), Venom Hunter (2016) and Meet the Hedgehogs (2019) along with Brian May.
He is also a popular face on BBC programmes The One Show (2006-) and Springwatch (2005), and he also competed in the 12th series of Strictly Come Dancing (2004-) finishing in 8th place overall.
Steve has taken a number of his popular television shows on tour across the UK and wider world. In 2015 he took Steve Backshall’s Wild World live tour across the UK, where he took audiences on a tour of the real-life expeditions that inspired his children’s novels. The following year he took his Deadly 60 live tour to Australia where he shared his experiences of getting up close and personal to some of the world’s deadliest creatures. This success lead to Deadly Days Out, a BBC series of events bringing live animals to locations across the UK as well as several sell-out tours; the biggest single day had an estimated 14,000 people and over the last few years Steve has talked to almost half a million people. Steve is hugely popular with young audiences who are both terrified and delighted to watch his encounters with extraordinary predators.
Steve with another popular Great British Speaker Aldo Kane
Steve’s first love was writing, and it’s something he has carried on with alongside his presenting and adventure duties. His non-fiction books include:
– Venom: Poisonous Creatures in the Natural World (2007), a scientific analysis of venoms and poisons in wild animals.
– Deadly 60 (2009), a diary-style breakdown of each animal filmed for the first series of the TV show with the same name.
– Wildlife Adventurer’s Guide (2009), which is aimed at young naturalists and provides a guide to having adventures in the UK.
– Looking for Adventure (2011), describes his expeditions in New Guinea, his childhood and how he got into television.
– Predators (2011), an illustrated guide to predatory animals.
– Deadly Diaries (2012), a diary-style book linked to series 3 of Deadly 60.
– Deadly Detectives (2013), a ‘how-to’ book, teaching how to track animals.
– Expedition: Adventures into Undiscovered Worlds (2019), an exploration of Steve’s journeys into unchartered territory.
– Mountain: A Life on the Rocks (2015), a memoir about Steve’s climbing and mountaineering exploits.
– Saved From the Waves: Animal Rescue of the RNLI (2022), a collection of first-hand accounts by members of the RNLI who have been involved in sea-based animal rescues.
The first book in his fiction series The Falcon Chronicles was published in 2012:
– Tiger Wars (2012), is about the adventure of a young boy and girl on the run from a shadowy gang of assassins, set against the background of the war on tiger poaching. In 2013 it reached the longlist for the Branford Boase Award for debut children’s novel.
– Ghosts of the Forest (2013), set in the forests of Borneo and Indochina, with the same characters battling illegal loggers.
– The Wilds of the Wolf (2014), same characters travelling to the Yamal peninsula in Serbia tracking wolves in the snow, and battling against the big oil and gas companies destroying the Arctic environment.
– Shark Seas (2016), the same characters saving the world’s most endangered sea animals.
Steve is an ambassador or supporter of a number of environmental charities including Wolftrust, the World Land Trust, Young People’s Trust for the Environment, Wildlife Trusts, Buglife, Bite-Back, Exotic Pet Refuge, Longridge UK, Mantra Trust, Shark Trust, the Scout Association, Cubs and the CCFA.
In 2011, Steve won two BAFTAs for Best Children’s Television Presenter and Best Factual Series. In 2009 and 2013 he was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Children’s Television Presenter, Deadly 60 for Best Children’s Series and Lost Land of the Jaguar for Best Factual series. Expedition Borneo was nominated for an Emmy in the US. Lost Land of the Volcano won the 2012 Wildscreen award for best popular broadcast. In 2012 he was awarded an honorary PhD from the University of Exeter. In 2012 he was awarded the animal carer badge in the scout birthday badge awards. In 2017 he and Glover were awarded charity fundraisers of the year after raising £360,000 for the World Land Trust. They also won the mixed category of the celebrated Devizes to Westminster kayak race. He was appointed MBE in 2020 and the scientific exploration society explorer of the year award.
Steve is an ideal speaker for discussing sustainability, the environment and adventure, as well as being a highly competent event host.
– The Environment
– Extreme Conditions
– Planning and Preparation
– Risk Taking
Uniquely, we also have his Olympian wife Helen Glover on our books and they are available (diaries permitting) as a team.