This Week On The Farm presenter Helen Skelton, 37, has told how she was held up by pirates while kayaking across the Amazon river for Sport Relief, revealing that the marauders made a bizarre demand. Talking to host Peter Banks on the Pillow Talk – The Official Rudding Park Podcast, the Countryfile presenter spoke about the “exciting” experience of coming face to face with pirates in South America, who didn’t demand money, but valuable food items instead.
It’s also quite exciting that as a grown up you’re getting chased by real life pirates
In 2010, the former Blue Peter presenter kayaked 2,010 miles down the Amazon for Sports Relief.
Her solo adventure saw her kayak from Peru to Brazil, in just 39 days.
Helen’s incredible achievement meant she landed two Guinness World Records at once: the longest solo journey by kayak, as well as the longest distance in a kayak in 24 hours by a woman.
The star has now embarked on a new challenge – learning to play golf so she can compete in the BMW PGA Championships, and was asked how her adventures compare.
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Helen Skelto revealed she came head to head with pirates during her Sports Relief trip in 2010
Helen Skelton said it was ‘exciting’ to be chased by pirates on the Amazon
The podcast host said: “You’ve done all these fantastic challenges, how does golf compare to the Amazon or the Namibian marathon?”
Helen responded: “Well, definitely fewer pirates and scorpions in the night,” she explained, as the podcast host revealed his surprise.
“Pirates?” he asked the TV star, shocked at her revelation.
Amused at his reaction, Helen went on: “Yeah, especially in the Amazon. The tone of your voice, I really -“, before interrupting herself.
Helen Skelton was awarded two Guinness World Records for her solo Kayak trip in 2010
Helen Skelton kayaked 2,010 miles down the Amazon for Sports Relief in 2010
The adventure was world’s away from Helen’s usual TV presenting gigs
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The star then went on to reveal how she was urged to take the encounter more seriously by the security team, but still found it “exciting”.
Helen explained: “I got really excited and the security people were like, ‘No, this is serious Helen’, and I was like, ‘Well, it is serious but it’s also quite exciting that as a grown up you’re getting chased by real life pirates.”
“Did they have eye patches and parrots and stuff?” asked her host.
Helen replied: “They just look like the police.
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“So in the Amazon, obviously, we went through Columbia, Brazil, Peru, we were on that river for two and a half months.”
The Springwatch star detailed how the pirates came across and didn’t demand money – but instead something far less valuable.
Helen explained: “We were living on the boat and there’s lots of bits of the jungle that are pretty dodgy and they want sugar and coffee, they don’t want money.
“They want sugar and coffee so they would try to rob your boats for [that] and obviously because we were British and a kids TV presenter mucking about on the river they thought we might have sugar and coffee.”
Later this year, Helen will be competing against Natalie Pinkham, Fleur East and Bela Shah for the opportunity to compete in the BMW PGA Championships through the Slingsby Gin Golf Academy.
The podcast host quizzed the star: “Rumour has it that the other cadets see you as competitive, is that true?”
“Everyone sees me as competitive,” Helen exclaimed before explaining why she found the label a personal bugbear.
She continued: “It’s kind of annoying because I think, especially when you’re a woman, being competitive is seen as being really unattractive.
Read More: Hollywood News