Charley Boorman is a modern-day adventurer, travel writer and entertainer. His charismatic “let’s just do it” approach to challenges has won him over to a massive TV and literary audience. A little known fact is that although Charley has travelled around the world from early childhood, he spent a great deal of his youth in Wicklow in Ireland. Husband to Ollie with two young daughters, Doone and Kinvara, he’s very much a family man.
His acting career started as a child. Being the son of the famous film director John Boorman, his career was already mapped out, appearing in the film “Deliverance” in 1972 and many others to follow. In 1997 he met Ewan McGregor the star of “Train Spotting”, “Star Wars” and “Moulin Rouge” amongst others, who became his co-adventurer and co-star in the Long Way Round and Long Way Down series.
In 2004 they took part in “Long Way Round”, a motorcycle trip from London to New York via Europe and Asia, which became an iconic television series, book and DVD. It was shown worldwide and became a best seller. At this time he also became involved with UNICEF as their ambassador, and has visited many of their projects during his travels, the majority of which have been integrated into his TV programmes.
2006 and Charley competed in the famous Dakar rally which was filmed and then became the “Race to Dakar” TV series. Injuring both his arms during the event meant that he didn’t cross the finish line, however the show continued with Charley becoming team manager on the ground, and getting his team mate Simon Pavey to the end. Race to Dakar became a big hit, both in DVD and book sales.
2007 saw another journey with Ewan which was televised, called “Long Way Down” from John O’Groats in Scotland to Cape Town, SA. Ewan this time brought his wife on to a section of the trip – a controversial state of affairs, but as usual Charley just took it in his stride – “…what it showed everyone is that absolutely anyone can do what we’re doing – even a complete novice. It didn’t sit easy with me at first – but hey, we’ve got families and relationships that we need to consider. It worked out well in the end and showed what could be done.”
2008 Charley went on a solo adventure which has taken him all around the world – “By Ay Means”. It began in his home town in county Wicklow and ended in Sydney, Australia. He set out with the intention of making the journey “by any means” of local transport available – a mish mash of boats, bikes, elephants – you name it, Charley used it!
2009 and the second part of by any means took place – but this time having a stronger focus on one of Charley’s loves – motorbikes. Departing from Sydney mid-May, he arrived on Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo in August having travelled the Pacific Rim. An open invitation was issued to any biker who wanted to join him for the first leg up the coast of NSW and over 1500 riders took part!
Currently the DVD and book of ‘By Any Means’ is still on the best seller list and after his first UK and Ireland Live Theatre Tour early 2010 all of his books and DVD’s saw increased sales. The tour was produced and presented by Billy (Biketruck) Ward, a friend and business colleague and saw audiences smiling from Brighton to Glasgow and Manchester to Dublin. With special guest, Dakar legend Simon Pavey, the audience were given a great insight into Charley’s career and in particular his biking enthusiasm. Billy and Charley are currently planning an Australian tour and another UK tour for 2011 – watch this site and www.charleyboormanlive.com for details to come.
Charley Boorman has certainly carved an impressive and successful career for himself, but what most people like about him is his ‘ordinary’ one of the boys’ attitude. Cheeky, energetic and entertaining – he’s always fun to be around and he’s always ready to chat to fans and have a smile!