Benedict’s latest adventure was to cross the Gobi desert – alone. He dreamt of the ‘exquisitely peaceful land of wild camels and nomads’…but his paradisiacal dreams were soon dispelled when he encountered his camels – Bastion – inept; Bert – one-eyed and Jigjik – desperate to escape.
But with only six weeks to cross the desert, Benedict accepted his lot and set off across golden sands, under blue Mongolian skies – isolated, vulnerable and free.
Sporting personalities Mike Atherton and Rory McGrath will also be in attendance at the festival, alongside TV adventurers Ben Fogle and Ranulph Fiennes; comedians Marcus Brigstocke, Julian Clary and Dave Gorman; political bods Michael Portillo and Alistair Darling; TV faces Terry Wogan, Jeremy Paxman, Clarissa Dickson-Wright, Duncan Bannatyne, Dan Cruickshank, Ian Hislop and Kate Humble and authors and journalists, Will Hutton, Andy McNab, Will Self and Simon Jenkins.
The Festival returns for its 62nd year with a heady brew of the best writers, thinkers and agenda-setters brought together for a scintillating 10 days of discussion and debate.