Ben Fogle to return to Scotland for new BBC series

Laura Harding, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

Ben Fogle is to return to Scotland more than 20 years after Castaway 2000, to make a new series for the BBC.

He will present a four-part programme called Sacred Islands, in which he explores locations from the Western and Northern Isles to the Inner Hebrides to discover what makes each a place of “spirituality and sanctuary”.

Fogle first found fame in the BBC reality show Castaway 2000, which followed a group of 36 people marooned on the Scottish island of Taransay for a year as they created a fully self-sufficient community.

The new series will feature drone footage as Fogle celebrates each island he visits, learning about is secrets and meeting the locals.

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He said: “Castaway changed me in so many ways. I was not the star of Castaway – the island of Taransay was, the Outer Hebrides was, Scotland was.

“I’m still fascinated by Scotland’s islands. The remoteness, the peace, the wonder – I even named my daughter Iona after one.

“I’m lucky to have been to a lot of places but to me these islands are the most beautiful on Earth.

“This is where my roots really are, where I feel spiritually at home. This is my dream series. It’s like a personal pilgrimage.”

The series will premiere on the BBC Scotland channel, followed by BBC One Daytime.

Steve Allen, who commissioned the series for BBC Scotland, said: “We are delighted to welcome Ben back to BBC Scotland’s screens with this new series.

“It’s hard to believe 20 years has passed since Ben captured the hearts of the nation in Castaway, where we watched him fall in love with the island and the whole island experience.

“This series will be an authored piece, which will give audiences an insight into the profound effect Ben’s 20-year love affair with Scotland’s islands has had on him and what it is that draws him back.”

Production will begin in the spring, with Covid-19 protocols, and the series will air later this year.