TRAVELLER and adventurer Simon Reeve is on his travels of a different kind this autumn and beyond: his first theatre tour.

The television presenter and writer with a passion for history, current affairs, conservation and the environment is hosting 45 performances of An Audience With Simon Reeve, visiting Harrogate Royal Hall tonight (October 23).

On the road since September 17, and on the back of releasing his latest book, Step By Step, through Hodder & Stoughton last month, Reeve is sharing behind-the-scenes anecdotes and tales from more than 15 years of travels to the most remote and extreme corners of the planet in his “live and uncut” show.

“It was someone else’s idea for me to do this tour,” reveals Simon. “I was contacted out of the blue. Giles Cooper, who’s chairman of the Royal Variety Show, got in touch; he organises lots of these ‘speaker’ shows and said, ‘don’t worry, it’ll be fine’!”

Reeve will offer “a fascinating and educational insight into the world at large”, after his experiences of dodging rockets on frontlines, being hounded by the KGB, tracking lions, wearing bulletproof underwear in the most dangerous city in the world, and encountering some of the world’s most extraordinary characters”.

His show also will reflect on his life path after leaving school at 17 with no real qualifications, but subsequently writing Tropic Of Capricorn, The New Jackals: Ramzi Yousef, Osama bin Laden And The Future Of Terrorism, and One Day In September, the story of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre. There will be a question-and-answer too.

At the time of this interview before the tour opened, Simon said: “I’ve jotted down some thoughts; I’ll have a plan and there’ll an element of winging it, which creates the possibility of total chaos but at least it will be dynamic! It could be a night of jeopardy, but I have a lot of stories from travelling to 120 countries, and I will have the plan ready by the first show!”

He is now a month into his An Audience travels with one wish at the core of his show. “I’m going to really try to inspire people to travel and not just travel but push themselves outside their comfort zone,” Simon says. “We need to be reminded how to live our lives excitingly and take risks, as shown by my non-conventional background for being a TV presenter.”

His progress into that world involved “volunteering and saying yes when people suggested interesting things for me to do”. “I also followed my own interests and passions and didn’t follow the obvious path,” he says.

Simon jokes: “The ‘correct ‘ way on to TV now is to have plastic surgery, a fake tan, go to an island, then thousands of people will greet you at the airport afterwards!”

How different from his own route, one where he did not undertake the Duke of Edinburgh Award or go inter-railing in his youth but hasn’t stopped taking on challenges or travelling ever since.

An Audience With Simon Reeve, Harrogate Royal Hall, tonight (October 23); Hull City Hall, November 8; Leeds Town Hall, April 1 2019, all 7.30pm. Box office: Harrogate, 01423 502116; Hull, 01482 300300; Leeds, 0113 376 0318.