Skip to content
Contrarians

Charley Boorman on learning from the past, the power of friendship and the ‘let’s just do it’ approach that drives his spirit of adventure

About This Episode

Joining Michael today is Charley Boorman, the travel writer and presenter famed for his ‘let’s just do it’ approach. Best known for his series of epic road trips alongside closest friend and collaborator, the actor Ewan McGregor – the pair followed up 2004’s Long Way Round and 2007’s Long Way down in September last year with the third in the series – Long Way Up, a 21,000km road-trip from the southernmost city in Argentina to Los Angeles. But it was a near fatal crash in 2016 that was to teach this dynamic duo the true meaning of friendship, and to provide Charley with his inspiring advice: “If you say you’re going to do something, then do it. You’ll be much happier.”

Charley Boorman, Travel Writer & Presenter

Charley Boorman is a modern-day adventurer, travel writer and entertainer. His charismatic “let’s just do it” approach to challenges has won him over to a massive TV and literary audience. His acting career started as a child, appearing in the film Deliverance in 1972, with others following. In 1997 he met Ewan McGregor the star of Train Spotting, Star Wars andMoulin Rouge amongst others, who became his co-adventurer and co-star in the Long Way Round – a motorcycle trip from London to New York via Europe and Asia, which became an iconic television series, book and DVD – and its follow-up Long Way Down, from John O’Groats to Cape Town.Through the series, he became involved with UNICEF as an ambassador, and has visited many of their projects during his travels. In 2006, Charley competed in the famous Dakar rally, which was filmed and became theRace to Dakar TV series. After his friendship with Ewan drifted in the years following Long Way Down, two serious motorbike accidents in 2016 brought the two back together, leading to a third epic road trip filmed in 2019 and released in 2020, Long Way Up – travelling from the southernmost city in Argentina to Los Angeles.

Listen on all your favourite platforms

Lockdown List

What is a book that has changed your life?

Ted Simon – Jupiter’s Travels

What are you watching at the moment?

I loved The Queen’s Gambit

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

Barry Sheene

In one sentence, describe your ‘new normal’.

I have to say nothing much has changed.

What is your best tip for life?

If you say you’re going to do something then do it.  You’ll be much happier.

What is your lockdown soundtrack?

  • Mr Ritter – Stereophonics
  • Ghost Town – The Specials
  • Can’t Always Get What You Want – The Rolling Stones
  • Virtual Insanity – Jamiroquai
  • Boot Money – Tony Joe White

Find out more

Subscribe to Change Makers Podcast