23 August 1966 |
Wimbledon, London, England, UK
Charley Boorman (born 23 August 1966) is an English TV adventurer, travel writer and actor. He is known for his enthusiasm for motorbikes, as demonstrated in several documentaries of his travels, including two with his friend, actor Ewan McGregor.
Boorman was educated at independent schools, attending three in the Republic of Ireland: St Gerard's School in Bray, Co Wicklow; St. Kilian's Deutsche Schule (English name: 'St. Kilian's German School') in Dublin and Sir Oliver Plunkett School. He then attended Sibford School, a Quaker school near Banbury, Oxfordshire, England from 1980 until 1983, where he received extra lessons in a specialist department catering for pupils with dyslexia.
Born in England, Jan Charlie Boorman spent much of his formative years in County Wicklow, Ireland. Boorman is the son of German costume designer Christel Kruse and film director John Boorman. He is married to Olivia with whom he has two daughters, Doone and Kinvara. He resides in Barnes, South-West London.
Boorman got an early start in the film business appearing in films directed by his father: he first appeared in Deliverance (1972), played a young Mordred in Excalibur (1981) (joined by his older sister Katrine Boorman who played Ygraine, Mordred's grandmother), then in 1985 played a leading role in The Emerald Forest. In 1987 he had a non-speaking role as a young German Luftwaffe pilot parachuting into a small village in Hope and Glory (his sister Katrine also appeared in that film).
In 2007, Boorman appeared on stage in Newcastle upon Tyne at the Tyne Theatre. The 'evening with' style show then went on a tour around the UK and Ireland in 2010. Just about this time Boorman revealed he had testicular cancer. Caught early, he had a testicle removed and has since been a strong supporter of Movember - an event that focuses on this disease. Boorman was given the all-clear, but continued telling audiences across the country about his ordeal, encouraging more men to be aware and get checked out early if there was any concern. In 2011, the Charley Boorman Live show toured the UK and Ireland again, following a similar format to the first tour but without support acts.
Boorman also began promoting African Adventures, which are commercial 17 day BMW motorcycle trips across Africa. Taking 50 riders from Cape Town to Victoria Falls, Boorman used various technologies to help promote the trip - including a GPS Satellite tracking device allowing people to follow the trip day by day.
Boorman has been actively supporting the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) since 2004, carrying out a number of visits to UNICEF projects, the majority of which have been integrated into his television programmes Long Way Round, Long Way Down and By Any Means. In 2009, Boorman was made president of Dyslexia Action; being dyslexic himself, Boorman is passionate about the cause and is keen to help the charity achieve its vision of a world where barriers are removed for those with dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties. Boorman has been on many visits to Dyslexia Action's regional centres and was actively involved in the charity's appeal "It's ME!". He also supported its whole school initiative "P4L" (Partnership for Literacy). Boorman recently participated in a live web chat for the charity where he answered questions about his dyslexia and his various adventures.
In 2009, Boorman went to Helmand Province, Afghanistan and visited troops. Kandahar and Bastion were the two key camps he visited, just before Christmas. He was reported to be "humbled" by meeting troops and has since been involved in related fund raising projects, in particular for Help for Heroes.
Long Way Round
In 2004, Ewan McGregor and Boorman decided to embark on a journey taking them from London to New York, which resulted in the hit television show Long Way Round, an international motorbike trip from London to New York via Europe and Asia. This was recorded, then later made into a television series, book and DVD. The series was shown around the world and the DVD and book became best sellers.
Race to Dakar
Along with producer Russ Malkin (from Long Way Round) and a motorbike team, Boorman competed in the 2006 Dakar Rally in January 2006. The event was filmed and the series Race to Dakar began on Sky2 in the United Kingdom in October 2006. During the rally Boorman injured himself and was forced to retire from the race after five days.
Long Way Down
In 2007, he started another journey with McGregor: Long Way Down, a trip from John o' Groats in Scotland, to Cape Town, South Africa. This was televised on BBC2 starting in October 2007. During this initial programme, it became public knowledge that Charley's wife was undergoing treatment for pneumonia, but had insisted that Charley complete the trip in any case.
By Any Means
In 2008, Boorman started By Any Means, which started in his hometown in County Wicklow, Ireland, ending in Sydney, Australia. He set out to complete the journey "by any means", using local transport appropriate to the area being travelled, and using air travel only when necessary.
Right to the Edge: Sydney to Tokyo By Any Means
In 2009, Boorman undertook a journey titled Right to the Edge: Sydney to Tokyo By Any Means, travelling from Sydney to Tokyo via the Pacific Rim. The programme documenting this trip has been shown on BBC2 in the UK.
World's Most Dangerous Roads: Alaska
Charley Boorman's Extreme Frontiers
In 2011, Boorman presented a prime-time adventure series for the UK's Channel 5, Charley Boorman’s Extreme Frontiers. This show was another collaboration between Boorman and producer-director Russ Malkin, who made frequent on-screen appearances. Rather than a journey, Extreme Frontiers aimed to 'take in all four extremities of Canada'. The show spawned a follow-up book and DVD, Extreme Frontiers: Racing Across Canada from Newfoundland and Labrador to the Rockies.
In 2012, Boorman continued the series in a South African setting. From 9 June to 22 July 2012, Boorman and his team journeyed around South Africa on two BMW R1200GS motorcycles and a Nissan Pathfinder.
Third Long Way series
Boorman has said he has plans to join forces again with McGregor to do a third 'Long Way' series, to be entitled Long Way Up, starting at the tip of South America and ending in Alaska, but no date for production has been announced. Boorman told Shave Magazine, "It is mostly down to timing. Ewan’s an incredibly busy A-list actor and that is his job first and foremost. He is on a roll at the moment. The Long Way trips take a good nine months out of your time through the preparation and the trip itself, that is a long commitment for Ewan. We have always spoken about doing the third trip Long Way Up, going through South America, we would love to do that."
- Deliverance (1972)
- Excalibur (1981)
- The Emerald Forest (1985)
- Hope and Glory (1987)
- Beyond Rangoon (1995)
- Two Nudes Bathing (1995)
- The Serpent's Kiss (1997)
- The Bunker (2001)
- I, Cesar (2003)
- In My Country (2004)
- Famous and Fearless (2011 television series) - Winner. Chosen charity: UNICEF
- World's Most Dangerous Roads (2011 television series - with Sue Perkins)
- Long Way Round (2004 - With Ewan McGregor)
- Race to Dakar (2006)
- Long Way Down (2007 - With Ewan McGregor)
- By Any Means (2008)
- Right to the Edge: Sydney to Tokyo By Any Means (2009)
- Daily Mail Weekend Interview. 16 June 2012, p6
- "John Boorman Biography (1933-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- "Charley Boorman becomes Dyslexia Action President". Retrieved 28 January 2010.
- Long Way Round official website
- Charley Boorman (2006) Race to Dakar. Time Warner Books. ISBN 978-0-316-02711-3
- http://www.longwaydown.com/ The Long Way Down official Site
- BBC Long Way Down microsite
- http://byanymeans.bigearth.tv/ Itinerary on official BigEarth site
- MotorcycleNews.com interview
- "BBC Two - World's Most Dangerous Roads, Series 1, Alaska". BBC. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- "Extreme Frontiers South Africa". Retrieved 14 November 2012.
- Hull, Rob (9 August 2007). "Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman reveal Long Way Up is on the cards". Motorcycle News. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
- "The world according to Charley Boorman". London: Dailymail.co.uk. 4 September 2010. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
- Appleby, Stuart. "Interview: Charley Boorman". ShaveMagazine.com. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
- Official website
- Charley Boorman at the Internet Movie Database
- Video Clips of Charley Boorman on Nat Geo Adventure
- WideWorld magazine – Interview with Charley Boorman
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