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Mountaineer Joe Simpson travels to Myanmar to retrace the steps of his father. In the first episode, Joe traverses the dense jungle terrain and avoids post-election violence.

Former mountaineer Joe Simpson travels to Inywa in Myanmar to retrace the WWII journey of his father, Ian, who served with the Chindits, the special forces who fought a harsh guerilla campaign behind Japanese lines in 1944.

Using his father's maps and secret diary, and guided by explorer Ed Stafford, the first man to walk the length of the Amazon, Joe sets out to find the jungle airstrip where 20,000 Chindits were dropped in the biggest air operation before D-Day. Joe experiences some of the jungle conditions that made this one of the toughest campaigns of the second World War - crossing a river with a homemade bamboo raft, getting lost in the jungle (even with GPS) - but then finds that events in modern-day Myanmar threaten to derail his plans. The first free elections since 1990 trigger renewed hostilities in Kachin province - usually off-limits to tourists - and Joe has to put his 30-year-old dream on hold.

1 hour

Last on

Fri 10 Jun 2016 08:30

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Role Contributor
Presenter Joe Simpson
Presenter Ed Stafford
Executive Producer Nick Metcalfe
Series Producer Alexis Girardet
Production Company Arrow International Media Ltd


  • Sun 8 May 2016 20:00
  • Mon 9 May 2016 23:15
  • Mon 9 May 2016 23:45
  • Fri 10 Jun 2016 08:30

Joe Simpson's Desert Island Discs

Joe Simpson's Desert Island Discs

Find out Joe's island picks as he chats with Sue Lawley about his life experiences.