My Life In Travel: Mark Pougatch, sports broadcaster

'I'd love to take a trip up the Amazon'

First holiday memory?

With a shrimping net and an orange sun hat on in Cornwall, when I was four or five; I go back there every year with my family. The first time I went abroad was about a year later to Corfu, which was long before it was built up. I remember inadvertently standing on a dead sea urchin, which took a bit of extracting.

Best holiday?

A safari in Kenya with my parents and one of my sisters. It was spellbinding, being out there at sunrise and seeing lions, elephants and cheetahs. My sister is a great photographer so I have some wonderful photos of it. It was a very poignant holiday because my father wasn't at all well and died three weeks later. Another great holiday was when I was working in Australia a couple of years ago. My family and I hired a motorhome and drove from Melbourne up to Brisbane over 10 days, staying in campsites, surfing down sand dunes, going to fantastic beaches and feeding dolphins.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

My home right on the edge of the Cotswolds, because I'm not here as much as I want to be. I live on the Oxfordshire/Warwickshire border with stunning scenery, great people and great pubs – my local is 40 yards from my front door. I will always have a soft spot for East Sussex, where I grew up, too.

What have you learnt from your travels?

I like to walk around the area I'm staying in and talk to people, because I think if you can absorb yourself into the area as quickly as possible, it's then that you really understand the place.

Ideal travelling companion?

My wife and my children. The chance to spend some time together without other people wanting my attention is really precious.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

Last summer we took our kids – who are 11, nine and seven – to Paris for two days. We went to the Louvre and Notre Dame and walked up the Eiffel Tower. I was the one who was terrified when we got to the top. After that, we drove down to the Alps and went mountain-biking and whitewater-rafting for a week. I'd have loved a week on the beach after that but sadly we didn't have time.

Greatest travel luxury?

A shortwave radio to get the BBC World Service.

Holiday reading?

My wife is a real bookworm so if I'm going away for work she always buys me a book that's appropriate to where I'm going. She bought me Bruce Chatwin's Songlines when I went to Australia for the Ashes. Otherwise, I read books I haven't read but ought to have, like Midnight's Children and Great Expectations, and my friend Tom Bradby's book Blood Money.

Where has seduced you?

The greatest boon of our generation is the ability to travel. Through work and pleasure I've been lucky enough to see Sugar Loaf in Rio, Sydney Harbour Bridge and the island of Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos where my sister lived. I loved Kiev, where my grandfather lived, too.

Better to travel or arrive?

When you first start travelling, it is very exciting. I don't mind it but these days I prefer to arrive.

Worst travel experience?

I remember flying from Hawaii to Fiji and I lost a day because of the dateline and I still don't know where it went. I could have won the lottery that day!

Worst holiday?

A last-minute holiday in Tunisia. The food was filthy and my wife was pregnant and tired. She went to the spa and it was a complete botch job.

Worst hotel?

A hotel in Lancashire where the room was so small that if you opened the door too enthusiastically you were in danger of falling out of the window. You have to have a sense of humour about those kinds of places.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

Go for a walk and get my bearings, then see if I can get the World Service on the radio. I don't like to be out of touch.

Best meal abroad?

When we did the road trip in Australia we'd buy fresh prawns and grill them on a barbecue on a beach or in a campsite. It was simple and enjoyable.

Dream trip?

I have been to Rio but I'd love to go to the Andes, up the Amazon and to Buenos Aires with my family.

Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive?

Walking on the edge of the Cotswolds from Ditch Edge to Traitor's Ford with my two dogs and one of my daughters on her pony.

Favourite city?

Probably Paris because it works on so many levels. It's so easy to get there on the Eurostar; you can go with the family, or as a couple on your own; the food is great and the culture is wonderful. Even the rudeness of the Parisians makes me laugh.

Where next?

My mother-in-law is very kindly taking us to Venice in the spring. I've never been, so I'm really excited.

Mark Pougatch presents BBC 5 Live Sport, 7pm Tuesday and Wednesday and noon on Saturday on BBC Radio 5 live, with live fourth-round FA Cup coverage from noon today

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Trainer / PT - OTE £30,000 Uncapped

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there