PASSED/FAILED: David Hempleman-Adams
Thursday 20 February 1997
Schools? I went to Morden Primary and Morden Junior in Swindon and then to Writhlington Comprehensive near Bath, a mixed, very enjoyable country school.
A family of explorers? No, the only ice I saw as a child was in my dad's gin and tonic. It was the Duke of Edinburgh's Bronze Award which got me started when I was 13. It involved first aid, community work and a 50- mile expedition. I did the Silver Award a year later and at 18 the Gold, which included a 75-mile hike.
Glittering prizes? I'm a member of the Institute of Directors and the Institute of Marketing and I received a Gold Star for perseverance from the Star newspaper. But my best qualification is the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.
O-levels? About eight, in two sittings; I suppose I was a late starter. Geography and biology were my favourites.
A-levels? Geography, biology and chemistry. I left school and finished them at Bath Tech.
University? Business Studies at Manchester.
Finals Results? I'm not telling. I'm not proud of my degree. I was never there; I was climbing around the world. Each term, I'd go to Manchester two weeks late and leave two weeks early.
Second degree? After graduating and before going on a "recce" to Everest, I went to see a post-graduate tutor at Bristol University. I got on the course not because of my academic qualifications but because the tutor liked the idea of a student being in the Himalayas. I came back with amoebic dysentery.
A year of living dangerously? For the course, the forerunner of the university's MBA, I did a marketing study of outdoor products. I found it very tough - in libraries at 3am and so on. It was a nightmare getting it all in.
A word from our sponsor? I was sponsored by a company which at the end of the year heard my presentation and then said: `Get your fees in - quick.' Two days later, it went bankrupt but I still got the cash.
Arctic ambition? I'd put our chances at 50-50. If I'm successful, we're flying our eldest daughter, who is seven, to the North Pole to meet me.
Following in Father's footsteps? No, I don't like to push her towards exploring. But I have set up the Mitchemp Trust to help disadvantaged children go on a free adventure holiday. I remember, in my school days, there were people who couldn't afford the pounds 20 to go away for a weekend on the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.
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