Charley Boorman

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Charley Boorman
Charley Boorman at Waterstone's.jpg
Born (1966-08-23) 23 August 1966 (age 54)
OccupationWriter, television presenter, traveller
Years active1972–present
Spouse(s)
Olivia Boorman
(m. after 1990)
Children2
Parent(s)John Boorman
Christel Kruse

Charley Boorman (born 23 August 1966) is an English TV presenter, travel writer and actor. As a noted motorbike enthusiast, Boorman is widely known for a series of three long distance motorcycle rides with friend Ewan McGregor, documented in Long Way Round (2004, 31K km), Long Way Down (2007, 24K km), and Long Way Up (2020, 21K km).

Early life and background[edit]

Born in Wimbledon, London, 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.[1] Lee Marvin, a lifelong friend of his father, is Charley's godfather.

Boorman attended three schools in Ireland: St Gerard's School (Bray, County Wicklow) and St Oliver Plunkett Primary School (Monkstown, County Dublin), both Roman Catholic schools, the latter a school dedicated to teaching children with dyslexia. He also attended the German-language medium school, St Kilians Deutsche Schule (Dublin). In England, he went on to attend Sibford School, a Quaker school near Banbury, Oxfordshire (from 1980–83), where he received extra lessons in a specialist department catering for pupils with dyslexia.[2]

Marriage[edit]

He and his wife Olivia have two daughters and live in London.[citation needed]

Acting career[edit]

At an early age, Boorman started appearing in films directed by his father. His first role was in Deliverance (1972).

According to Adam Savage, Boorman appeared uncredited with Ridley Scott's son, Luke, in the film Alien (1979).[3][4]

Boorman 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).

His further acting appearances include The Serpent's Kiss (1997), on which he met Ewan McGregor, and The Bunker (2001).

Theatre show[edit]

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. Around this time Boorman revealed he had testicular cancer. Caught early, he had a testicle removed and has since been a supporter of Movember. 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.

Charity work[edit]

Boorman has supported the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) since 2004, carrying out a number of visits to UNICEF projects, which have been noted in his television programmes Long Way Round, Long Way Down and By Any Means. In 2009, Boorman was made president of Dyslexia Action; he is dyslexic. Boorman has been on many visits to Dyslexia Action's regional centres and was involved in the charity's appeal "It's ME!". He also supported its 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.[5]

In 2009, Boorman went to Helmand Province, Afghanistan and visited troops. Kandahar and Bastion were the two key camps he visited, just before Christmas.

In February 2014 and November 2016 Boorman presented Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Awards [1] at St James's Palace, on behalf of The Duke of Edinburgh.

Accident[edit]

Boorman was involved in a serious accident whilst test riding a motorbike with journalists in Portugal in 2016.[6] Boorman broke both legs[7] after colliding with a wall whilst avoiding a car that pulled out in front of him. He then broke his hip riding a Vespa whilst still in recovery.[6] After a period confined to a wheelchair, Boorman is back riding, but now walks with a limp as his left leg is 1cm shorter than his right after operations to repair the breaks.[6]

Presenting career[edit]

Long Way Round[edit]

In 2004, Ewan McGregor and Boorman decided to embark on an epic 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 City via Europe and Asia.[8] 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. Critical responses were mixed, with one noting 'Boorman comes across as a copper-bottomed, ocean-going, 24-carat prick.'[9]

Race to Dakar[edit]

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.[10]

Long Way Down[edit]

In 2007, he started another journey with McGregor: Long Way Down,[11] a trip from John o' Groats in Scotland, to Cape Town, South Africa. This was televised on BBC2 starting in October 2007.[12] During this initial programme, it became public knowledge that Boorman's wife was undergoing treatment for pneumonia, but had insisted that he complete the trip.

By Any Means[edit]

Boorman in 2008

In 2008, Boorman started By Any Means, which started in his hometown in County Wicklow, ending in Sydney.[13] 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.[14]

Right to the Edge: Sydney to Tokyo By Any Means[edit]

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[edit]

Boorman appeared with Sue Perkins in Series 1 of the BBC TV series World's Most Dangerous Roads: Alaska, shown in 2011, in which they drove the Dalton Highway.[15]

Charley Boorman's Extreme Frontiers[edit]

In 2011, Boorman presented a prime-time adventure series for 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. Extreme Frontiers claimed to 'take in all four extremities of Canada'. Accompanying the show was book and DVD.

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 motorbikes and a 4-wheel vehicle.[16]

Charley Boorman USA Adventure[edit]

Boorman and Malkin returned on Channel 5 at the end of 2013 for his next trip, which was in the US. Starting in Hawaii, he moves to Alaska, then to the Eastern seaboard and down to the Southern states, inland to the Gulf of Mexico, up again to the Rockies and finishing on the Pacific Coast at Los Angeles

Long Way Up[edit]

Boorman and McGregor travel from the southernmost tip of South America up to Los Angeles in the United States with Claudio von Planta, their Swiss cameraman from the previous Long Way series, on electric Harley-Davidson LiveWire motorcycles.[17]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Television
Year Title Character Name Notes
2004 Long Way Round Himself With Ewan McGregor, from London to New York City through Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Russia, Alaska, Canada.
2006 Race to Dakar Himself
2007 Long Way Down Himself With Ewan McGregor, from John o' Groats in Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa
2008 By Any Means Himself Ireland to Sydney
2009 Right to the Edge: Sydney to Tokyo By Any Means Himself Sydney to Tokyo
2011 Charley Boorman's Extreme Frontiers Himself 2 Seasons, Canada, South Africa and USA
2011 World's Most Dangerous Roads Himself In Episode 1, with Sue Perkins, in Alaska
2011 Famous and Fearless Himself Winner. Chosen charity: UNICEF
2013 Freedom Riders Asia Himself through six Asian courntries Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, India, Vietnam and Thailand[18]
2014 Me and Me Dad: A Portrait of John Boorman contributor An intimate portrait about the iconic filmmaker John Boorman directed by his daughter Katrine Boorman.
2014 Celebrity MasterChef Himself
2020 Long Way Up Himself With Ewan McGregor From from Ushuaia in Argentina through South and Central America to Los Angeles

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "John Boorman biography". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 5 May 2009.
  2. ^ Daily Mail Weekend Interview. 16 June 2012, pg 6
  3. ^ "Totally Unauthorized Commentary: Alien (1979) - Tested.com". Tested.
  4. ^ "Millennium Falcons - Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project - 9/22/17 - Tested.com". Tested.
  5. ^ "Charley Boorman becomes Dyslexia Action President". Archived from the original on 8 July 2009. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
  6. ^ a b c Sweeney, Joanne (11 May 2017). "Charlie Boorman tells of his Long Way Back to recovery after motorbike accident". The Irish News. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  7. ^ Tibu, Florin (18 February 2016). "Charley Boorman Breaks Both Legs After Colliding with a Car". autoevolution. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  8. ^ Long Way Round official website Archived 10 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Farndale, Nigel (13 September 2008). "Charley Boorman: the star trekker" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  10. ^ Charley Boorman (2006) Race to Dakar. Time Warner Books. ISBN 978-0-316-02711-3
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 October 2007. Retrieved 16 October 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) The Long Way Down official Site
  12. ^ "BBC Two - Long Way Down". BBC.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 May 2008. Retrieved 29 April 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Itinerary on official BigEarth site
  14. ^ MotorcycleNews.com interview Archived 26 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "BBC Two – World's Most Dangerous Roads, Series 1, Alaska". BBC. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  16. ^ "Extreme Frontiers South Africa". Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  17. ^ "Ewan and Charley's next adventure has begun on electric bikes". Motorcycle News. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  18. ^ DeHart, Jonathan. "Freedom Riders Asia: Charley Boorman's Motorcycle Tour of the Far East". thediplomat.com. Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  • Holmstrom, John. The Moving Picture Boy: An International Encyclopaedia from 1895 to 1995. Norwich, Michael Russell, 1996, p. 363.

External links[edit]