BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

24 September 2014
Press Office
Search the BBC and Web
Search BBC Press Office

BBC Homepage

Contact Us


Blizzard: Race To The Pole
The Scott team pulling a sledge

Blizzard: Race To The Pole


The British Team


Led by Bruce Parry, an explorer and former Royal Marine, the British team is strong and made up of individuals with a wide range of experience and skills.

Bruce is best known for the hugely popular BBC TWO series Tribe. He has spent most of the last two years living with indigenous peoples around the world for Tribe and is currently filming a new series.

Bruce Parry
Nationality: British
D.O.B: 17/03/69

Background: Commissioned into Royal Marines May 1988, Bruce completed one year management, leadership and commando training before spending several years as a troop commander.

In the Marines he specialised as a physical training instructor and became the youngest ever officer responsible for all physical aspects of Royal Marines Commando Training. During his service he served in Arctic Norway and on operation in Iraq before leaving as a Lieutenant after six years' service.

As an expeditioner he has personally organised and led more than 15 major expeditions to various extreme parts of the world and has extensive remote experience of the desert, Arctic, jungle and some mountaineering.

Bruce first appeared on the BBC in a programme called Cannibals and Crampons when he and his friend Mark Anstice spent nearly three months trekking across the jungles of Papua.

More recently he has received acclaim for his six-part, prime-time series Tribe for the BBC TWO on indigenous peoples from around the world which was transmitted in early 2005.

Mark Anstice
Nationality: British
D.O.B: 17/05/67

Background: Mark joined the army three years after leaving school. During his time there he managed to plan several expeditions, squeezing them in between operational commitments in the Gulf, Central America and Bosnia.

Mark left the services in 1995 as a captain and has since undertaken 12 major expeditions to deserts, mountains and jungles around the world.

Along with Scott team leader, Bruce Parry, Mark made a film for TV called Crampons & Cannibals in which they climbed the un-scaled face of Mandela. This is a remote mountain rising 15,400ft above the dense tropical jungle of New Guinea and is still inhabited by cannibals. All they took with them was what they carried on their backs, and two video cameras.

He used to have an extreme sports holiday company and has been known to abseil from some of London's tallest buildings to clean and repair them.

He has recently been working in Iraq, leading a local force of 800 men defending a 200-mile pylon line against saboteurs, and providing security during the 2005 elections.

Christoffer Van Tulleken
Expedition Team Doctor
Nationality: British/Canadian
D.O.B: 18/08/78

Background: Chris is a 26-year-old qualified doctor. He is currently working as a senior house officer in general surgery in London.

He trained at Oxford University and after working there in medicine and surgery moved to Cambridge as a lecturer and tutor in anatomy and surgery.

He is trained in emergency medicine and has also been an expedition medic with experience in the Arctic, Himalayas and Vietnam.

Whilst at Cambridge Chris rowed and captained the University Lightweight Rowing Team and learned to fly with the University Air Squadron.

Expeditions: Chris enjoys skiing, climbing, hill walking, canoeing and winter camping and tries to do them as often as possible.

Last year he raced in a team of two to the magnetic North Pole as part of the Fujitsu Polar Challenge. They were close second, completing 360 miles in 18 days. He was also one of two expedition doctors treating a wide range of cold weather and other injuries.

He has also led mountaineering expeditions in the Himalayas and Vietnam reaching over 6000m, and canoe expeditions throughout Northern Canada.

David Pearce
Nationality: British
D.O.B: 02/01/64

Background: Dave's experience in extreme environments is extensive. He spent 23 years as a British Commando specialising in mountain and Arctic operations, as well as seeing operations in Northern Ireland, Kosovo/Bosnia and sensitive operations in Afghanistan.

Dave was one of the first to walk the streets of Kabul following the initial conflict. As a Commando, Dave served in many specialist areas of the services, becoming a renowned expert in mountain and Arctic warfare. He was also a physical training instructor in the Royal Marine Corps.

He is a mountain guide and instructor and is also a skiing and kayak instructor.

Expeditions: Dave reached the summit of Everest with a sherpa via the North Face on 22 May 2003. The summit push almost failed due to desperate prevailing conditions and Dave thought he would not survive the descent.

During this period members of his team performed what is thought to be the highest ever mountain rescue in a selfless act of sacrifice, bravery, skill and determination.

Having climbed mountains all over the world, Dave has also scaled one of the largest rock faces in the world and was part of the successful team that made the first British ascent of Kangchenjunga, without supplementary oxygen.

Rory O'Connor
Scott Expedition Team Doctor
Nationality: British
D.O.B: 01/08/67

Background: Rory is 37 years old and is a medical director for an oil company in Kazakhstan.

He also spent a year-and-a-half as the doctor on a British Antarctic Survey base where he got to practice cross-country skiing, man-hauling, sea ice travel, mountain ascents and glacier travel.

Since then Rory has continued to challenge himself physically and mentally with a wide range of expeditions.

Experience: Rory's expedition experience spans more than 15 years and includes both mountaineering and skiing. He has cycled from Lhasa to Kathmandu, crossed both the Greenland and Norwegian icecaps, climbed Kilimanjaro and climbed in the Himalayas.

Nick Farnon-Akers
Nationality: British
D.O.B: 24/08/1969

Background: Nick has been training and racing Greenland dogs for 20 years. He currently has nine dogs, which he trains in the UK and Norway, and races all around Europe.

His major aspiration is to the be the first British team with his own dogs to compete in the legendary 1,122-mile Iditarod race in Alaska. He plans to do this in 2007.

Nick was an officer for the Dyfed-Powys Police in Wales, where he was the manager of a behaviour unit for adults. He then took five years off to focus fully on his dog training.

He also enjoys skiing and white water canoeing.

Arthur Jeffes
Nationality: British
D.O.B: 21/07/1978

Background: Arthur studied Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge University. He now works for the family record label as a music producer, including writing for a couple of new UK hip-hop acts.

He is a keen skier and snowboarder, and can be found exploring the backcountry around Aspen.

Arthur's great grandmother was Kathleen Scott, the wife of Robert Falcon Scott.

Expeditions: Arthur has worked on a two month dig in Timbuktu, to find out whether it really was swamped with gold in the Middle Ages.

Another dig involved carrying soil out of caves in the Croatian mountains for two months.

Last year he worked in South Africa, conducting a primary healthcare survey for a voluntary HIV awareness organisation for three periods of three months.

Rupert Elderkin
Nationality: British
D.O.B 29/03/1976

Background: Rupert is a lawyer who has been working in Brussels since 2001.

He is also an enthusiastic mountaineer who has managed to fit in several ambitious climbing expeditions.

He is a keen alpine skier, a qualified diver, and has spent time teaching English in Nepal twice.

Expeditions: These have included a ski expedition to summit Muztagh Ata (7546m), Xinjiang, Western China in 1999 and expeditions to the Cordillera Blanca in the Peruvian Andes in 1998, and Aconcagua (6956m) in Argentina in 2003.

In spring 2003 he made an attempt on Everest. Despite the expedition leader having to be evacuated before the ascent had even started, they made it to 8,400 metres before being forced to turn back.


< previous section next section >
Printable version top^

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy