Sir Ranulph Fiennes Launches Ambitious Guest Editor Programme

Ambitious plan unveiled as National Geographic prepares to mark its 130th Anniversary

By Kieren Puffett
photographs by Gary Salter
Published 16 Dec 2017, 11:18 GMT
Sir Ranulph Fiennes holds numerous records for endurance and has been described as the "world's greatest ...
Sir Ranulph Fiennes holds numerous records for endurance and has been described as the "world's greatest living explorer" by the Guinness Book of World Records in 1984.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the world’s greatest living explorer, marks the start of one of the most ambitious projects for the brand in 2018.

Fiennes will be the first guest editor for the UK edition of the magazine as the brand is set to mark the 130th anniversary of the creation of both the National Geographic Society and the magazine in 1888.  

Editing the January 2018 issue, Sir Ranulph is working with the editorial team and Susan Goldberg, Editor-in-Chief, to curate and create features for both the magazine and the UK National Geographic website.

Source of Inspiration

This is not the first time, Fiennes’ has enjoyed a tie-up with National Geographic. Back in 1983 he wrote an article about the Transglobe Expedition, the circumnavigation of the planet from pole to pole, for the magazine.

In the upcoming January 2018 issue, by way of introduction to the National Geographic readers, Fiennes editor’s letter talks about his relationship with the much-loved magazine and how it was a great source of inspiration for him in his early life.

“As a child, growing up in South Africa, and later at school in England, I remember happily browsing through back issues. Now, at the age of 73, I wonder how much the articles I read back then sparked my young imagination; whether perhaps they inspired my later expeditions in any way,” says Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

Inside the issue readers will be able to view never seen before photographs from Fiennes’ personal archive, taken during many of his expeditions. What’s more, in a fascinating and insightful interview feature, titled “Exploring the Unknown,” Fiennes reveals what he believes is the crowning achievement of his career, how he constantly craves new challenges and how he is planning yet another expedition!

World's Greatest Living Explorer

Fiennes’ achievement as an explorer is unmatched and is why the Guinness Book of Records describes him as the “world’s greatest living explorer”. Along with Charles Burton, he was the first man to reach both poles by surface travel, and with Mike Stroud, the first to cross the Antarctic Continent unsupported.

The world’s greatest living explorer has led over 30 expeditions including the first polar circumnavigation of the Earth. Fiennes’ achievements are not just restricted to the coldest regions of the planet, though. In 2003, he ran seven marathons in seven days on seven continents in aid of the British Heart Foundation just three and a half months after a massive heart attack.

In recognition of many of his achievements, Her Majesty the Queen awarded Fiennes the Order of the British Empire (OBE). These achievements also included his charity work, which has raised over £18 million for a range of good causes including a total of £6.3 million for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Power of Storytelling

The guest editor programme will continue throughout 2018 with a further 11 notable British figures, each respected leaders in their fields. Each guest editor will explore topics such as sustainability, technology, environmentalism and human ingenuity, working with National Geographic to use the power of science, exploration and storytelling to change the world.

The UK has always had a strong affinity with National Geographic, which has 55 million readers and is published in 35 different languages making the magazine the world’s most read magazine. To subscribe to National Geographic and receive the latest issue click here. 

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