Talk:Ranulph Fiennes

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Some suggestions[edit]

I removed the sentence about him taking taxis on Long Drag because it is absolutely ridiculous. Doing so would be impossible as it is done overland and the only roads in the area 9which are few and far between) are patrolled during Long Drag as candidates are not allowed to even walk on them. Seriously, even if he made that claim in his autobiography it is absolutely fucking ridiculous.

Some suggesions (which I'd make myself, were I surer of the facts):

  • I didn't know that Dr Dolittle thing. Some more info, or ideally an exlink, would be welcome
  • Didn't he recently blow up (or was it threaten to) the bells of a neighbouring church, citing campanological-noise nuisance?
  • If memory serves, wasn't the antarctic run supposed to really be on the contenent proper (one assumes on the antarctic penninsula) but they had to fall back to the Falklands due to bad weather?

THanks, -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:42, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for taking a look at our work.
Dolittle: Not much detail around - see this google search [1] - the South African Sunday Times link indicates that Fiennes himself has spoken about this so the facts are likely to be right.. although I wouldn't be surprised if things have got exaggerated over the years
Church bells: Hadn't heard about this, quick search didn't reveal anything, but I am sure you wouldn't make it up!
Yes I think that's right - will update.
Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 14:02, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Thanks. No, I can't find anything about the Church Bell thing either. I'm sure it's not my imagination, but perhaps it was some _other_ ex-SAS demolitions dude with a short fuse (sic). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:02, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Ah hah. He appeared on BBC's Top Gear this week, and discussed the dam incident at length. I've added all I can remember. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 00:44, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)
In the same appearance, he also talked about losing his heart rate monitor, chopping his fingers off, and being rejected as James Bond - I've added a teeny bit on each of these. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 01:27, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Excellent work. He's quite a character! Pcb21| Pete 11:57, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Is "quite a character" meant to say "completely insane"? But seriously, I don't recall any mention of the church bell thing. It'd be helpful to know if you have an idea where you heard it... -Grim-
And completely stupid, blew up a temporary damn that was in place for a movie shoot. Guess he thought the movie would be filmed over decades. (talk) 10:23, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
The Castlee Combe business is also documented extensively in his 1971 book A Talent For Trouble. Mr Larrington (talk) 15:11, 4 January 2013 (UTC)


The article said Fiennes was knighted in 1993, but every cite I've found says he was awarded an OBE then (which despite what [2] says ain't the same thing at all) (so I've been bold and changed it). I can't find any mention of his receiving a knighthood, and this one page [3] (note: that page seems to have white text on a white background - select the invisible text to read it) says it's hereditary. I've never heard of an hereditary knighthood, so I've asked Lord Emsworth if he knows whazzup. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 03:16, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)

There are almost 1000 individuals made OBEs each year; unfortunately, I know of no source that lists all living ones. But searching the internet indicates that numerous sources give 1993 as the date. I would not worry about corroborating this assertion. The letters "Bt" indicate that he is a Baronet. Baronetcies are hereditary titles. Though they carry with them the title "Sir," they are not strictly speaking knighthoods. Sir Ranulph Fiennes, 3rd Baronet was born in 1944, shortly after his father Lieutenant Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykham-Fiennes, 2nd Baronet was killed in World War II. Thus, Sir Ranulph Fiennes became a baronet at the moment of his birth. -- Emsworth 03:25, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)
The London Gazette [4] is usually the best place to find honours. He was appointed an OBE in The Queen's Birthday Honours List of 1993 "For Human Endeavour and for charitable services". Proteus (Talk) 09:32, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Excellent, thanks both. I've integrated this into the article, and it makes the article a great deal better. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 11:06, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Thanks to you all. I dimly remember being confused about this when bashing out the original article. Thanks to McW for making this article much better. Pcb21| Pete 11:57, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Does anyone know where he is 3rd Baronet of? Or is he just a 3rd Baronet? -Grim- —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:39, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
He is the 3rd Baronet in the line of descent since the first Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes was made a baronet. Dabbler (talk) 15:49, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
According to this Sir Eustace Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, 1st Baronet, he inherited the baronetage from his Grandfather, who died after his father. Surely it then means he's the 2nd Baronet, and it doesn't matter his father died before him.Petsco (talk) 16:31, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
It seems that there is some contradiction between his grandfather's article and the one on the Baronetage. It seems that he is the 2nd Baronet and his grandfather died after he was born, not before as suggested in the article. I will try and fix. Dabbler (talk) 17:07, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

The Wikipedia page for his grandfather, the 1st Baronet, says he died in Feb 1943. Since Ran was born in March 1944, if you count back his father was still alive in July 1943, so he was the 2nd Baronet for a few months before being killed in the war. Hope this helps. --Katy4650 (talk) 04:10, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Oh, sorry, I meant to ask is he a baronet of anywhere? Many lords with such titles have some sort of land attached to their name, and I would like to know. -Grim-

I have been checking around and it is pretty certain that he is the 3rd Baronet after all (of Banbury in Oxfordshire, if the truth be told but Baronets don't usually add the place name). So I have been doing a bit of fixing. Dabbler (talk) 18:00, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

From the article, Baronet: 'A baronet is styled "Sir", but a baronetcy is not considered an order of knighthood.' Sir Ranulph is a baronet; he was not knighted but inherited the right to be addressed as Sir Ranulph. I have altered the article to reflect correct (customary) forms of address. Spathaky (talk) 21:01, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

Charles Burton[edit]

The Charles Burton link is to Charles E. Burton, the Irish astronomer (d. 1882). Should there be a disambiguation page and a link to a stub article on the correct Charles Burton? -- MarkBrooks 16:44, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

Yes indeed, if this Charles Burton is really interesting enough to warrant an acticle. If he isn't, maybe we should just unlink the name. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 17:41, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
Britannica has an article about him [5], so we clearly should have one too (only bigger, better, and with topless photos too). -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 17:43, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
NPOV topless photos only, please. Pcb21| Pete 08:57, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

The Victoria Falls Expedition[edit]

Its started!!!

It currently (when this was written) on it's third day. This is the site.[[6]] and the photo gallery is at this page[[7]] and to contact them clicky here[[8]]

First person to both poles???[edit]

The assertion that Sir Ranulph was the first person to visit both poles is not technically correct. That honor belongs to Roald Amundsen (South Pole - 14 December, 1911; North Pole - May, 1926). Fiennes was the first person to visit both poles by land transportation. This claim should be modified in the article. Also, Fiennes trek of 97 days in the Antarctic is not the longest journey in south Polar history, Amundsen's journey was 99 days in duration (19 October, 1911 - 25 January, 1912) and there may well have been others that were longer.

Given that there is no land at the North Pole the sentence "He was the first man to visit both the north and south poles by land" cannot be technically correct. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:34, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Works of Fiction[edit]

Isn't The Secret Hunters a novel? The write up here makes Derek Jacobs sound like a real person. --JBellis 19:35, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

It had to be categorised as fiction because of legal/copyright issues surrounding the original diary. Read it and make up your own mind!

I think the description needs to be removed on several grounds. The description text is largely a copy of the Amazon Product Description and therefore is close to a copyright violation. It doesn't follow NPOV. Also credible sources like the Scott Polar Research Institute have cataloged the work as fiction. And since the only source for the existence of journal is Fiennes himself it is unverifiable. I'll remove the content in a couple of days. Addere 22:05, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Doctor Dollitle[edit]

Does anyone know if he did actually blow up the dam in the Doctor Dollitle film set or not? The article suggest he laid the charges but didn't actually detonate them. This [9] seems to suggest he did in fact blow it up, but it mentions it too briefly really. I'm trying to find a reputable source that goes into a bit more detail about it. Norman22b (talk) 13:29, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

See [10] for his own account given in an interview. To quote: "I was asked to create a diversion, which I did, using incendiaries." Still rather brief, but perhaps helpful enough to clarify the article somewhat? Fyndir (talk) 12:31, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

He gave another account of this on Top Gear: [11], which seems to suggest that he did blow up the dam. Quote: " friend decided to bring this to the general attention by blowing it up, so I laid all the charges, and it was quite successful". Again however, this is quite vague. --BobLoco (talk) 13:17, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

In his autobiography, "Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know", he says that he left off some diversionary flares, but his friend didn't follow through with blowing up the dam. There is also a pictures of newspaper articles about his arrest. --Katy4650 (talk) 04:03, 14 January 2010 (UTC)'

He did NOT use his evasion skills to get away, he was busy doing said training when the others were caught from what I understand from watching Top Gear's episode with him.


I'm not sure, but surely his young son is now the heir to his baronetage? Barters (talk) 23:05, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

I believe that his son is actually a stepson, son of his second wife. I don't think he can inherit the baronetcy. Dabbler (talk) 00:37, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Trapped on an iceberg?[edit]

I have a vague memory that Fiennes and one other were trapped on an iceberg for some time in 1982; as I recall, they had a radio which worked some of the time and that they'd found out that the UK was at war (the Falkland war was underway) but they couldn't find out who the UK was fighting - after some discussion, they assumed it was France!

This sort of ties in with the Transglobe journey, except there were three of them - if someone can confirm he was trapped on the berg, it might be worth a mention - they apparently both expected not to survive. Apepper (talk) 21:37, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Yes, it was mentioned in his biography "Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know" that they spent four months on an iceberg. This was the only way for them to get from near the North pole through the broken ice floes south to meet up with their ship and finish the trip. They started out the journey with a group of three, but one guy left after the Antarctic leg so only two of them were on the iceberg. They were in radio contact with Ran's wife Ginny, who would have told them about the Faulkland war. Apparently one of the newspapers went on about two ex-SAS men avoiding being called up for service by being on an iceberg! --Katy4650 (talk) 10:41, 15 January 2010 (UTC)


We can hardly justify a section called "Actor" when he has never done any acting, and the only role he was ever considered for, he was rejected. -- JackofOz (talk) 22:02, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Ran Fiennes[edit]

The introduction to this article says that he is also known as 'Ran' so shouldn't we redirect this name to this page? I'd do it but I can't make them without authorization and it'd be good to verify the nick name first. Tyciol (talk) 23:15, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Removed autobiography, notability and spam Tags[edit]

For no stated or obvious reasons, someone I cannot identify on the history recently tagged this article for autobiography, notability and spam. Fiennes is interesting, well-known and honoured in the UK, so I doubt that the tagger knows what they are doing; if so, perhaps they would kindly give some explanation here, please, to justify these tags? In the meanwhile I have simply removed them. If simple removal and talkpage is not the appropriate Wikiprocedure for this situation, I apologise and would be happy to be pointed at the relevant policies, please! Jezza (talk) 16:08, 6 April 2010 (UTC)


Would it not be more appropriate to state his nationality as British? Most articles refer to him as either English or British as he came from an English family and grew up there. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:56, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Absolutely, but the Scottish nationalists who go around and mark someone as Scottish if they've so much as been on a day-trip to Scotland would never allow such a thing. Nonetheless, I have made the change. Made a silly typo in the log, having just read the 'not to be confused with' line. D'oh. --Bloodloss 01:56, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

I saw Mr.Fiennes give a lecture at a business event this week, during which he mentioned that he was born in Windsor, England. This contradicts the statement here that he was born in Scotland. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:53, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

SAS service[edit]

Prior to being RTU'd from SAS, had Fiennes actually been badged? My memory of his autobiography was that he hadn't completed all his training and was later badged with Territiorial SAS. Can anyone confirm/correct me on this? ( (talk) 19:37, 9 October 2011 (UTC))

Formidable challenge[edit]

(Copied from User talk: Martinevans123 (talk) 20:12, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Re: your continued revision of the statement in the Ranulph Fiennes article which says:

In March 2007, despite a lifelong fear of heights, Fiennes undertook the formidable challenge of climbing the Eiger by its North Face'

While I would agree with you that some of the earlier text in this article might have been construed as representing a PoV, edit summaries such as "amateurish, fanzine-style writing" and "re more pov and lame writing" are not particularly helpful or constructive.

I would direct you to re-read this section of the Eiger article here Eiger#The Nordwand, which has, as far as I know, not been challenged as being "PoV":

Since then, the north face has been climbed many times. Today it is regarded as a formidable challenge more because of the increased rockfall and diminishing ice-fields than because of its technical difficulties, which are not at the highest level of difficulty in modern alpinism. That distinction lies with the 8,000 meter peaks in the Himalaya and Karakoram. In summer the face is often unclimbable because of rockfall, and climbers are increasingly electing to climb it in winter, when the crumbling face is strengthened by ice.
Since 1935, at least sixty-four climbers have died attempting the north face, earning it the German nickname, Mordwand, or "murderous wall", a play on the face's German name Nordwand.[1]

But I have also looked again at the earlier version of this particular sentence, which read:

In March 2007, despite a lifelong fear of heights, Fiennes undertook a personal challenge to climb the Eiger by its North Face

If you do not accept that the phrasing already used in Eiger is a perfectly fair and non-PoV statement, then I would recommend reverting to the original version which is clearly a fair and unbiased description of Fiennes' attempt given his well-known fear of heights. Surely anyone would accept that, if someone suffers from agoraphobia, it is obviously going to be a personal challenge to climb any steep mountain, let alone the North face of tbe Eiger, which is recognised by climbers the world over as a very dangerous and daunting task. Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:58, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

It does not matter what is said in the Eiger article. The writing in the Fiennes article was clearly promotional in tone. It's obviously a "personal challenge" for anyone - the wording is totally superfluous. "undertook to climb" is neutral. The other variants are not. (talk) 14:11, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
I think it does matter. Wikipedia is supposed to be internally consistent. If one asked members of the international montaineering community to list the world's most challenging climbs, I'd suggest that The North Face of the Eiger would be quite high up on that list. The Wikipedia Eiger article supports such an assessment.
But if you disagree with this argument, that's ok. The point I am making is that such an undertaking was an immense personal challenge for Fiennes since, unlike most climbers, he has a fear of heights. I agree that some of the article text you have changed was indeed "promotional in tone". But I do hope that you are not now proposing that the phrase "undertook to climb" is the only one permissable here.
In view of the fact that you are editing anonymously from this ip address, it might be sensible to copy our discussions here onto the article's Talk Page? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 16:55, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Army Rank[edit]

No mention is made of his army rank, I found an article which says he was the youngest captain in the British Army ( but this doesn't make clear whether this was before or after transfer to Hereford, nor is his SAS rank mentioned. Or his rank in the Omani army. Rank progression is normally mention in military biography. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:56, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Trans-Antarctic Expedition 2013-14[edit]

Under "Adventurer", it states that the team "will be dropped off by ship on the Pacific coast of the continent", but the expedition web site ( has a route map which shows them crossing from a point to the south of South Africa.

This needs to be verified.

Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:26, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

Questionable Citation?[edit]

Impatient at the pain the dying fingertips caused, Fiennes cut them off himself with a fretsaw,[3]

I have 2 wee issues with that part.

1st, any body part that is so badly frostbitten that amputation is advised is already necrotized tissue. It's not dying, it's already dead. It was the end 3rd of all 4 fingers & thumbs that were beyond healing. He did have frostbite on the remainder of his fingers that was not severe enough for amputation & therefore was not dead tissue. Amputation was delayed so that the rest of his fingers could heal. (This is what frostbite looks like: That pic is what Fiennes got in Antarctica; he may face 2 more amputations.) It was not the tips that he cut off that caused him pain. In speaking of his experience, Fiennes said that when he was engaged in self-amputation, if it began bleeding or causing him pain, he moved the blade up a bit further into the *dead zone*. So the bits he cut off weren't painful & the bits he didn't weren't dying, but healing.

2nd, that 3rd citation doesn't say what's in this article. The sole reference it makes is *When he is not planning expeditions, scaling mountains or running races, Sir Ranulph can be found cutting the ends off his frostbitten fingers with the help of a vice and a fret saw, *. That hardly translates to *impatient* etc. It's also sort of an advertising gimmick page, basically; the watches it sells are supposed to be tough enough for extreme expeditions. The 4th citation (the Guardian page) at least explains the self-amputation somewhat better.

I was told never to delete someone else's footnote, so I'm merely suggesting that #4 is better than #3 for referencing Fiennes's self-amputation, & that the above-quoted bit isn't mentioned in the source to which it links.

Also, the citation for the Royal British Legion Magazine goes to its home page, not an article on Fiennes - should it not go directly to whatever material they have on him, & if that's not possible due to their site coding, should not some other source be utlized? ScarletRibbons (talk) 06:53, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

See also[edit]

Do we really need a list of other British explorers? Surely the Category at the bottom of the page provides access to that? Martinevans123 (talk) 19:21, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Questionable statements[edit]


"According to the Guinness Book of World Records in 1984, he was the world's greatest living explorer".

This needs more clarification - it is Guinness' avowed policy to investigate and publish measurable records. How could they measure the "greatness" (meaning fame)? What does the book actually say about his achievements?

Second, this page states he "is a distant cousin of the British Royal Family". It would be more believable if the relationship was demonstrated - through whom is he connected?Cloptonson (talk) 16:24, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

Cloptonson (talk) 16:18, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference Venables was invoked but never defined (see the help page).