Helen Skelton told to take Amazon pirate encounter 'seriously' by security 'I was excited'

This Week on The Farm presenter Helen Skelton, 38, has told of how she was urged by her security team to take a risky situation “seriously” while undergoing a challenge for Sports Relief in 2010. 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.

The security people were like, ‘No, this is serious Helen!’

Helen Skelton

The mother-of-two explained how she came face to face with South American pirates during her 2,010-mile journey down the Amazon for Sports Relief.

During her solo adventure, the star kayaked from Peru to Brazil in 39 days while she was a presenter on the children’s TV show, Blue Peter.

Speaking to the podcast presenter, the Springwatch star said she came across the buccaneers in an “exciting” encounter, but was urged to take the situation “seriously”.

In 2018 Reuters reported that pirate attacks around South American and Caribbean waters were growing and recorded a 163 per cent increase in incidents from two years before.

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Helen Skelton told to take Amazon pirate encounter 'seriously' by security 'I was excited'

Helen Skelton has opened up about being ‘chased’ by pirates during her 2010 adventure on the Amazon (Image: GETTY/ ITV)

Helen Skelton Amazon pirates adventure Sports RelI

Helen Skelton undertook the 2,010 mile challenge in 2010 (Image: GETTY)

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Addressing the star’s trip, 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 cutting herself off.

Helen Skelton Amazon pirates adventure Sports RelI

Helen Skelton took part in the challenge as a Blue Peter presenter (Image: INSTAGRAM)

Helen Skelton Amazon pirates adventure Sports RelI

The 39 day trip down the Amazon is a far cry from Helen’s native Yorkshire (Image: INSTAGRAM)

Helen Skelton Amazon pirates adventure Sports RelI

Helen Skelton practicing ahead of her solo adventure down the Amazon (Image: GETTY)

Helen Skelton Amazon pirates adventure Sports RelI

The best farming shows (Image: EXPRESS.CO.UK)

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” being chased by the marauders.

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.”

Addressing her achievements and the two Guinness World Records the challenge saw her land, the star said: “It’s been tough but I’ve had enough highs to make it more than worthwhile.

“I’m very lucky to have amazing people in my life who’ve picked me up when things got hard and most importantly inspired me to carry on,” she added.

Helen continued: “My bottom is bruised, my shoulders are sore and the muscles in my neck are making it hard to differentiate between my head and my shoulders but to be honest I am proud of the war wounds.

“I reckon that you shouldn’t shy away from things because they’re tough or you might fail. Get stuck in and you never know where you might end up,” she finished.

Read More: Hollywood News

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