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Kevin McCloud: 'I'm in awe of families who Escape To The Wild'

Kevin McCloud says the young families he met on his new programme Escape To The Wild left him in a state of awe and admiration.

In the Channel 4 series, The Grand Designs presenter meets four families, three with young children, on their quest for a simpler life in some of the world’s most remote locations.

He follows the families to an island in Tonga, a jungle in Belize, the side of a volcano in Patagonia and sub-Arctic Sweden.

As a father-of-four himself, Kevin thinks it's a great feat to manage such an adventure with kids in tow: “When you do this with kids, you do it with much more conviction and seriousness.

Escape To The Wild

Kevin McCloud presents Escape To The Wild (Channel 4)

“We plot and we plan and we hope and we scrimp and we save, and we think, ‘One day I’ll do this’, but actually, when you have children, [your life is] determined by their paths and their education, and suddenly life takes a different direction.

“I went with an open mind and an open heart. I came back entranced by the places and completely admiring these individuals, who claim in every case to be like everybody else but you know they’re not.

Escape To The Wild

Kevin McCloud with one of the relocating families (Channel 4)

“A volcano might explode, a tsunami might come or a puma might come out of the jungle and steal your dog. The adventure never stops, which is on the one hand exciting, and on the other hand, terrifying.”

Kevin also says that he still feels deeply affected by a documentary he made in 2010, Slumming It, which saw him visit a slum in India.

Slumming It

Kevin McCloud in Slumming It (Channel 4)

“I had to stand on a rubbish tip, 18-inches deep in sludge and talk to families with kids who were eight years old and who had to wade through animal entrails and needles from hospital recycling with their bare hands, looking for plastic bags to recycle," says Kevin.

“Yet in every circumstance, I would find people smiling and talking hopefully about what it was they were doing and what it would lead to. I find in the well-off people in Britain a propensity to moan about everything. I think, ‘What point of reference do you have?’.”

Escape To The Wild starts tomorrow night on Channel 4 at 9.00pm.

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