Belfast Telegraph

Deadly 60's Steve Backshall says he and wife Helen Glover not ready for family

Deadly 60 presenter Steve Backshall has admitted that he and new wife, Olympic rower Helen Glover, are not quite ready to step aside from their careers to start a family.

The wildlife expert said the pair, who married in September, may need up to a year before they start talking about children.

"Helen hasn't quite decided yet whether she wants to continue with the rowing," Backshall, 43, told the Radio Times .

"She's absolutely at the pinnacle of her sport and it's going to be very hard for her to be away from that.

"So I think we'll have a few more months, possibly up to a year, and then we'll decide."

Glover, 30, won the women's pair gold medal in Rio last year - an award which her then fiance had to have repaired after dropping it on the floor.

Backshall, meanwhile, has been busy with his latest TV adventure in Papua, Indonesia, a show which will see him navigate a previously untouched river and spend a night next to the 200-year-old preserved remains of a warrior chief.

But he revealed that the real tough part was spending time with the Dani tribe, where women are expected to do all the work and even chop off parts of their fingers or ears to mourn the loss of family.

"The attitude towards women is appalling," he said.

"But you can't go into these villages with a full-on, forceful, modern sensibility, because you will learn nothing, you will offend everyone, and actually there is so much to be gained from their cultures that I think we're losing from our own, such as the respect they have for their elders, who are the most respected members of the tribe."

Backshall also made clear that he turned down the group's offer of taking home some extra wives, joking: "I haven't mentioned that bit to Helen...I have more than enough with my one wife!"

This Easter, the pair plan to kayak 125 miles from Devizes to Westminster in less than a day to raise enough money to help buy and save a piece of the Borneo rainforest.

While the animal-lover is hugely popular in Indonesia and Morocco as well as in the UK, he confessed there are big differences between him and Australia's celebrated wildlife hero, the late Steve Irwin.

"Steve is still a massive hero in Australia, and every single show that I do out there I get compared with him," Backshall said.

Commenting on Irwin's famous habit of getting up close and personal with deadly animals, he added: "I'm fairly pragmatic - there's no doubt that the programmes Steve made had more of an impact on how people perceive reptiles, crocodilians and snakes than any other work that had gone before."

:: Read the full interview in this week's issue of Radio Times.

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