LEVISON WOOD INTERVIEW
Best-selling author and TV presenter Levison Wood will be embarking on a major national theatre tour in February and March 2017, following his latest adventure, Walking the Americas…
So, you’ve recently been on another epic “walk”…
Yes, I’ve been walking the length of Central America, from Mexico to Colombia… 1700 miles through some of the harshest jungles on earth. I’ve been filming it myself, with a “light footprint” crew who came out in stages. Channel 4 will be airing it in early spring 2017. It’s been challenging terrain at times, but an incredible, eye-opening journey. I’m really looking forward to sharing it with everyone.
Will there be a book about your experiences?
Yes, there certainly will. I’m working away on it as we speak. Funnily enough, it’s called “Walking the Americas,” and it comes out in February. I’ll be signing copies during the tour, and you can buy a pre-signed copy online when you buy a ticket.
Where’s your favourite place to write?
It depends where I am, but I’ve moved into a new house recently. I’ve built a little library, which has a nice old desk, and views out over the park, so that’s where I’ll finish writing my book.
You’re going to be touring the UK in spring. What sorts of stories are you planning to share?
Without wanting to spoil the surprise, I plan to talk about my latest expedition, as well as what has inspired me along the way, and how I went from being in the Parachute Regiment to forging a career as an explorer. I’ll talk about the challenges and pitfalls; the dangers and the rewards of a career as a professional traveller. I’ll also share some stories from “behind the scenes” that haven’t made it into the TV series. I hope I’ll inspire people to go on their own adventures, while making people laugh, and challenging their perceptions of places. I’m very fortunate to be able to do this for a living.
Will you be walking between venues?
Not if I can help it!
Where on the tour have you never visited before? Is there anywhere that you’re particularly looking forward to visiting?
I’m really looking forward to Buxton, as it’s pretty much home turf for me. My family live near the Peak District, and I’ve spent a lot of time walking around those parts. I don’t think I’ve ever been to Leamington Spa before, so I hope to have chance to explore before the show.
What do you enjoy most about touring?
I do a fair few shows and events each year, ranging from small intimate venues to concert halls, but this is my first “big” tour on this kind of scale. I love the challenge of speaking in front of hundreds of people, and trying to keep them entertained. It’s great to be able to share my experiences.
How do you prepare for a show?
I’ll be relating anecdotes from all of my major expeditions. I’ll also be sharing some of my photography and film footage, so there’s a lot of preparation that goes into that. Immediately before a show, I try and take it easy. Catching up with friends or family for a quiet meal helps me to relax.
If you could invite ten special guests (living or dead) to sit in the front row at one of your shows, who would they be?
I’d invite my exploration heroes along, although it would be terrifying to speak in front of the likes of Captain Scott, David Livingstone, Burton, Speke, Stanley, Samuel Baker, Eric Newby and Shackleton. I also really wish my grandparents could be there. They passed away before I started doing all of this. Luckily, my parents try to come along to at least one or two of my shows.
What’s the strangest question you’ve been asked by a member of the audience?
I can’t recall anything particularly strange, but people should feel free to ask away. I usually get a lot of practical questions, such as, “What’s the worst food you’ve eaten? What make of boots do you wear? How many changes of clothes do you get through?” That kind of thing. Kids ask some really good questions, as they don’t self-censor.
Do you ever get stage fright?
I sometimes get nervous before an event, but you have to get on with it. I haven’t frozen yet!
What’s on your tour rider?
I have fairly simple tastes, but I sometimes like a gin & tonic before I go on stage. I’m not much of a diva, am I?
Tickets for “An Evening with Levison Wood” (Feb 20th – March 27th) are now on sale via www.ticketmaster.co.uk
Levison Wood will be appearing at Hull City Hall on Monday 20th February
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