REVIEW: Simon Reeve at Congress Theatre Eastbourne

Programme Name: Greece With Simon Reeve - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 2) - Picture Shows: at the Vikos Gorge, the deepest gorge in the world.  Simon Reeve - (C) BBC - Photographer: Olly Bootle SUS-191010-154016003
Programme Name: Greece With Simon Reeve - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 2) - Picture Shows: at the Vikos Gorge, the deepest gorge in the world. Simon Reeve - (C) BBC - Photographer: Olly Bootle SUS-191010-154016003

I have always thought that if Simon Reeve stood in the middle of the desert reciting the Lord’s Prayer backwards, people would quite happily pay to see him.

And after two hours in his convivial company on Saturday night it’s blatantly obvious that this modern-day Alan Whicker but more Bear Grylls character has carved out quite a following among men and women, old and young.

The 47-year-old adventurer, presenter and author enthralled the Congress Theatre with an eventful evening of engrossing tales of how his love of travel to remote places paved the way for his career.

Reeve, also an accomplished documentary maker, has infiltrated some of the most remote corners of the world, always taking a path less trodden and in return fronted some incredible travel documentaries in recent years.

His new TV series The Americas started last month and follows the intrepid explorer as he makes his way through some of the most extreme parts of the continent.

I was unaware that since being discovered by the then editor of The Sunday Times editor Andrew Neil while working in the post room of the newspaper, Reeve was given a lucky break and sent to report on the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing.

Since then he has travelled through more than 120 countries in 15 years, been chased by pirates, carried out some first class investigative journalism, written books about modern history, hounded by the KGB and bombed by Colombian barons – which is probably why he didn’t turn up for post-show drinks at the Stage Door afterwards although I gather he was signing copies of his books.

His Eastbourne show was fascinating, funny and inspiring and he even had time for a couple of questions from the audience.

If anything his one man show – brought to life with photographs and videos not to mention two trusty suitcases filled with various memorabilia from his travels – shows us that if somebody tells you something is impossible, find a way round it because anything is possible. Simon says.