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Russell Kane: I'd like to travel with Jimmy Carr in his exploring shorts

Russell Kane


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Comedian Russell Kane is known to be a man who likes his home comforts. So when tasked with navigating through some of the world’s most remote locations, with just an internet star and a smart phone for company, would it be the trip of a lifetime or a travelling nightmare?

Filming Stupid Man, Smart Phone is the most exhausted I've ever been. I'm still catching up now from that exhaustion.

I'm in decent nick, but I've never done any survivalism before. I've never camped out in the open stars, I've never skinned an animal, I've never done anything like that. So that type of stuff was horrific.

I've never pooed in a bush. Here's a psychological hurdle that if you haven't crossed it in the first 30 or 40 years of your life, you're going to struggle to cross it, and I had to. I've never been without a toilet in my life and I never want to do it ever again. Unless it goes to a second series, in which case, I'll poo wherever you want!

Travelling with different internet celebrities was just mental, man. Everyone reacts to it in different ways. Vine star Arron Crascall got quite teary missing his family. Other people were more bothered by the bugs and the wilderness.

Some people were just bang up for it, like Conor Maynard - he made me look stupid. And Jenny Jones, the snowboarder, was building a raft in 40 degree heat with her bare hands while I stood in a bush with borderline sunstroke.

YouTubers Rose and Rosie were the most useless of my companions. No question. They were just like me, scared of everything, falling over. And Rosie is vegan. I took a vegan to the Arctic Circle… where there's basically just blubber, fat, blood and meat. She was sobbing every time there was a scene with a dead animal.

I'd like to take other comics with me next time. Someone like Rob Beckett. Or even, if I could talk him into it, Romesh Ranganathan. Maybe we could do one in Sri Lanka when he's filming the next Asian Provocateur. Or Jimmy Carr... it'd be quite funny to see him out of his comfort zone, in exploring shorts!

The third character on the trip is the phone. It is my robot companion. It's as close as we've got to an R2D2 or C3PO.

When you're making a programme called Stupid Man, Smart Phone, it's pointless just trying to be a rubbish Bear Grylls. The phone was the centre of the experiment, of the comedy, of the narrative. The phone's solving every quandary, that's what makes this programme completely unique.

But it taught me there's no substitute for the human element. Maybe my co-hosts would say differently, but you can't beat that feeling of an expert walking in and it's a real person, shaking your hand, talking you through it and helping you. It's just not the same.

I’m really close to my mum and she was just worried for me. I'm always falling over, always injuring myself, so I'm not the best person to be climbing up a mountain or trekking across the desert leading a beast. We were Skyping them all the time while I was away.

But I learnt I could prepare an animal. And I can light a fire without wood - we burnt camel poo one night. I used a tampon and hand sanitizer to start a fire. I've inadvertently learnt quite a lot of survival knowledge.

Thankfully for the team, I'm still a worrier. If we cure that, we don't have a show! A lot of the comedy comes out of seeing me screaming at a spider or a snake or a car door that didn't close.

Interview by Kieran Coyle.

Russell Kane is a comedian and stars in Stupid Man, Smart Phone.

The series continues on Sunday, 8 May from midday on BBC iPlayer. Each episode will be available to watch in BBC iPlayer for six months.

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.

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