It all started back in 2004, when he filmed The Long Way Round with Ewan McGregor, and since then he’s done the Race to Dakar, Long Way Down, By Any Means, Right to the Edge, World’s Most Dangerous Roads: Alaska, Charley Boorman’s Extreme Frontiers, and Charley Boorman’s USA Adventure. That’s enough to keep anyone busy.
Of all the many places he’s been and the many adventures he’s had, he told us about his single favourite moment. Towards the end of the Long Way Round, his first show, Ewan McGregor and he were riding over a bridge into New York, he told us: “We could see the Statue of Liberty and where we were going to finish. I remember riding across the bridge, I looked at Ewan with tears in my eyes, and he was blubbing away, and he shouted over at me, ‘Charley, we rode here. From home!’
“Four and a half months before, we’d left London, and there we were, riding into New York. Other than a train under the Channel, and a little flight, we had ridden the whole way. We had a whole convoy of Harleys behind us, about 200 following us, and it was awesome.”
It's not all been plain sailing, though. During filming of By Any Means, Boorman took a boat from East Timor to Darwin in Australia. “It was supposed to take three and a half days, but it took six and a half. We ended up in a huge storm with 15-metre swells. It was brutal. I really did think that was it. We were doing one knot an hour, and we were 200 miles from any land. But when we finally got through it, it was just superb. The feeling of getting to Australia and stepping off that boat was extraordinary. We got horribly drunk afterwards.”
Most of the hairy bits naturally made it into his various shows, as they’re the bits people want to watch. “What’s bad for me is usually good for the show," he told us, "and what’s good for me is usually bad for the show.” However, there was one occasion driving up the Sani Pass in South Africa up to Lesotho that wasn’t on camera.