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Percival People: Simon Reeve

Showcasing our High Summer Foragers collection

You know Simon Reeve. Afghan scarf, boyish looks and hair, mind blowing documentaries from all corners of the planet. Simon’s a London boy who came through a pretty tumultuous childhood. He turned his life around, but he still lives right on the brink. It’s a different kind of brink now, though. One that puts him in all kinds of situations that would give most of us angina. 

Simon’s breakthrough into the public consciousness came when he published a New York Times bestselling book in 1998. Since then, he’s made some 28 series of documentaries, and visiting over 130 countries around the world, making him the recognisable face of contemporary adventure and exploration.

Simon’s work sees him spending a lot of time outdoors, in every terrain imaginable. Who better, then, to have a chat with in celebration of Perci’s new Foragers collection? And where better to have that chat than at Kew Gardens, in Simon’s native West London?

 

Hey Simon! You’ve just got back from Patagonia, what were you doing over there?

I was filming for a new TV series about some of the last magnificent wild places left on the planet. I think we all really need reminding there’s still a beautiful and astonishing world out there worth believing in, fighting for, and protecting. We filmed majestic pumas at almost touching-distance, kayaked to a vast blue-white glacier, and spent days trekking up to the South Patagonian Ice Field, a whole vast sea of ice stored high in a remote area of the Andes which helps regulate the climate of the continent. Our guides and mountaineers were a really cool group of snowboarding climbers. It was a tricky trek, knackering but brilliant.

 

Sounds like an incredible trip! What do you enjoy most about working on documentaries, and what inspires you?

I love being thrown into extreme situations and meeting people who are living extraordinary lives. I go on these journeys to some of the most glorious and sketchy parts of the world, and I get to hear and learn about the light and shade of people’s lives, both the joy and yes the tragedy as well. That’s an incredible privilege. It always amazes me how willing people are to share their story with me and the viewers. 

What inspires me? I guess it’s Us. We’re just endlessly fascinating. I’ve been lucky that from the beginning my programmes have really been about the people I meet rather than me and my blisters. And when you travel to meet others, to hear and retell their tales, you have an almost infinite supply of fascinating stories.

SHOP SS23: Foragers

It’s a sunny day in Kew, and it seems like the Great British summer is finally with us. What are you looking forward to?

Summer’s here, and it’s a good one. I’m looking forward to a bit of time at home in Devon, but also seeing family and friends in London, where I’m from and where my heart still is. We’ll be doing some camping, drinking, clinking, lazing and no doubt a beach or two.

 

Because you’re on-the-go and outdoors a lot, how would you describe your style and how does it differ when you’re not working or filming?

On travels and at home I used to just wear army surplus gear that was practical but probably made me look like a washed-out mercenary. Now I love practical outdoorsy stuff but with a decent cut, and some good colour, even if it does risk drawing a sniper’s eye. Plus lots of pockets for nerdy travel bits and pieces. During the shoot I heard your lovely Sam [Percival’s Art Director] use the word ‘practi-cool’ at least twice. Sadly not about me, but that’s what I’ll aim for.

 

SHOP SS23: foragers

 

 

So go on, what have you got coming-up?

I’m heading off to film more of my telly series, and then in the Autumn I’m starting a new UK theatre tour called ‘To The Ends of the Earth’, which is basically me on a stage gassing away about how all of us need to get a bit more wild in our lives. I did a tour a few years back and loved it, so I’m going back on the road with new tales and stories. Last time I showed everyone my armoured underwear for war zones. So I’ve got to beat that.

 

What’s your favourite piece from the Foragers collection?

I’m a big fan of layering a couple of shirts, so I love the Nettle Overshirt. It’s a good cut for me and the embroidery on the back is beautiful and striking. Your marvellous team saw me eyeing up the Overshirt, possibly even giving it a stroke, and let me take it home after the shoot. I’ll be wearing that on a pub walk by the weekend. 

 

SHOP SS23: foragers

Unfortunately this size is no longer in stock.