TV's Ben Fogle will not be doing 'scary' Cheese Rolling again
He has rowed the Atlantic, run across the Sahara Desert and trekked the Antarctic but Ben Fogle has ticked off another feat – chasing an 8lb cheese down a very steep hill.
The TV presenter and adventurer had always wanted to take part in the death-defying Cheese Rolling but had always been prevented by health and safety due to filming commitments.
Ben took part in the first race of the day as he and another two dozen competitors chased a famous Double Gloucester cheese 200 yards down the 1:2 gradient Cooper’s Hill at Brockworth, Gloucestershire.
Speaking afterwards, the 43-year-old father of two said the race course was a lot steeper than it looked and he was nervous as he waited at the start.
“When I was filming things for TV I was never allowed to, for health and safety, so I’ve come along on my own today,” he said.
“It is the first time I have done the Cheese Rolling. I’ve covered all sorts of weird and wonderful events across Great Britain and this was almost the last one on my list.
“I’ve watched from afar for years. I made the long journey to be here. I was in Canada yesterday and I came back early especially for this.
“I’ve done it now. I can tick that one off. I did it once – that is enough.”
Ben, who was muddy and suffering from a sore shoulder, said: “It is a lot more scary at the top than down here, believe me. When you see the photographs you have no idea just how steep it is.
“It is so slippery. The nerves … all these guys look tough but once you’re up there and you are looking down, it is really nerve-wracking.
“You have got to commit because once you start on that hill you can’t really just gingerly descend, you have got to really go for it. It is really scary.
“I have a slightly sore shoulder but it will be okay.”
He added: “This is just quintessential Britishness – I love it – and I love the eccentricity of events like this.
“I think I did most of it on my bum. Am I pleased with my run? I got down to the bottom, I didn’t win the cheese, but I got down.
“I think the moral of this is quit while you are ahead. I’ve got the mud and a few scrapes and cuts and I’ll enjoy watching other people do it from now on.
“I’d always wanted to do it and finally I can say I ran after a cheese down Cooper’s Hill.
“The cheese went to the best man.”