Author and adventure documentary maker Simon Reeve opened up about his sweet family life with his wife and son in a chat with the Sunday Mirror’s Notebook magazine
Not a lot of people know this but I’m very good at… wood chopping! I have to chop tonnes of wood every year. We have a fancy biomass boiler as we’re trying to do the green thing. I’m a demon with an axe!
My best friend is… my wife Anya. I’d pretty much given up on serious relationships when I met her in my early thirties. I bumped into her at a party, saw her from across the room and went over and she held my gaze for just a second longer than was polite. I thought, “Oh my God, I might be in here!” And I was, and still am.
The best day of my life… was when my lad Jake, now 10, popped out. For all the adventures and experiences I’ve had, nothing tops that. It was such an emotional, astonishing thrill to see him arrive after we’d been told as a couple that having a child would be almost impossible.
The bravest thing I’ve done is… going to Scotland on my own when I was 17. I was a lost, hopeless teenager and I’d spiralled into a dark place and found myself on the edge of a bridge. I was crawling my way out of that dark place and decided to go to Scotland, which was way out of my comfort zone. I decided to climb a mountain in Glencoe and it changed my life. I went there because my mate Dwight had a video of Highlander which we’d watched loads and I loved the landscape.
My favourite TV show is… Ghosts. It’s funny and so well done. I watch it with my lad. He’s obsessed and has watched every episode multiple times.
The one thing I’d change about myself is… I’d love to be less of a grump and less stroppy. I’m a negative, glass-half-empty type which can stand you in good stead when you’re travelling in war zones and so on, but it can be a bit wearying for my family.
BBC/The Garden Productions/Jonathan Young)
The last time I cried was… yesterday. I was having to delete videos from my computer and I found some videos of my little lad and I think he’s so lovely. I’m basically an emotional wreck. I think it’s because I’ve seen the most extreme conditions that humans can exist in throughout the world and it could have turned me into someone with a concrete soul, but it’s actually made me an emotional wreck.
It’s not good for my image but I like… staying in five-star luxury hotels. It doesn’t happen often as when I’m filming a show we’re careful with how we spend the budget, but I do like a bit of pampering.
The actor who would play me in a film is… Ben Chaplin. A couple of times when I was younger my then-girlfriend said he was a better-looking version of me.
My perfect Sunday is… taking my dogs for a lovely walk around a beautiful National Trust property and meeting lots of other dogs. Then maybe a bit of a cream tea at the end. My dogs fill me with so much joy, I love being out with them.