Cold Feet actor Cel Spellman: 'The natural world will show you many miracles'
Actor and presenter Cel Spellman talks to Sarah Marshall about responsible travel and his new podcast, Call Of The Wild
BEST known for his role as Mathew Williams in ITV drama Cold Feet, actor and broadcaster Cel Spellman is also an ardent environmentalist and keen wildlife fan.
In a new podcast series for WWF, Call Of The Wild, launching on February 17, he speaks to several famous faces about topics impacting the future of our planet – from the way we travel to the items we buy. We quizzed him about it…
:: How do you intend to be a more responsible traveller once the pandemic ends?
“I'm very passionate about trying to experience new things and see new cultures. But in the same breath, I'm very conscious and aware that flying is dreadful for the environment and does have a massive impact. Currently, I'm trying to find the right balance with actions that won't have too much of a catastrophic effect, but where I'm also not going to take all the enjoyment out of doing something that I love.
“What's been nice about this reset, is that we've turned to the natural world for peace of mind. We're always looking further afield, but within [the UK], there are so many beautiful green spaces.”
:: Where will you be heading on holiday?
“As soon as the lockdowns end, I want to go and explore Scotland. There's so much variety of beautiful landscapes, interesting terrains and different habitats. I think you could go for six weeks and get completely lost. Cornwall is also top of the list.”
:: When did you start caring about the planet?
“I've always had an awareness of the environment. And then, in turn, you learn about wildlife habitats and realise they're just as much your habitat. When I was 15, we touched upon global warming in science studies at school. I started to understand it was having a devastating effect on the planet. Later, I reached out to WWF.
“Now I'm conscious that if I'm aligning myself with WWF and other environmental charities and organisations, I have to be able to back up what I'm saying with my own actions. For a while now, I've been trying to do all the things in my power to live more sustainably, to make those choices that may be better for the planet and, in turn, for ourselves.”
:: What's your most memorable wildlife holiday?
“About five years ago, we'd just finished a series of Cold Feet and I booked a holiday to Kenya as a treat for myself. I can never quite quantify it or put it into words, but it was magical. It's the cradle of civilization. There was an abundance of wildlife everywhere you looked, right down into the sand, into the ground with all sorts of ants and little critters. It was teeming with life.
“Before that, the closest I'd ever been to seeing these animals was through David Attenborough's programmes. Then suddenly, I was about five feet away from a wild African elephant, or a cheetah with its kill.”
:: What can we do to make our travels more sustainable in the future?
“In the UK, we're very fortunate with what we have available. So, I think anything that you can do locally is great. I think it's also important to remember that we can have an impact in the way we spend our money. If we can use our money to let big businesses know that we will only invest in things that are going to be beneficial for the planet, then we'd be having a positive impact. Eventually, businesses will have to follow suit.
“If we moved away from investing in fossil fuels and actually started putting money into the renewable side of things, that would be really powerful. I think people are very much ready to make the right decisions and use money in the best possible way.”
:: What was it like to meet Sir David Attenborough, one of the guests on your podcast?
“He's one of my greatest inspirations. One beautiful thing he said was, ‘I encourage anyone to step out into the natural world and stop for 10 minutes, take a breath. Let it all unfold around you, and you'll see something special'.
“I think we've lost that connection. If you can connect with the natural world, it will very quickly show you many miracles, and prove this is something we need to be protecting and caring about.”
:: Call Of The Wild with Cel Spellman and WWF launches on Wednesday, February 17 – available on all podcast providers.