Kate Humble: I agreed to marry my Crocodile Dundee lover

The AutumnWatch presenter tells Radio Times about the time she followed her lover to an African crocodile farm

Kate Humble agreed to marry a crocodile farmer she met on a trip to Zambia when she was only 19.

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In an exclusive interview with RadioTimes, the wildlife presenter reveals that she fell for the South African when she travelled to the Dark Continent 26 years ago.

“He was deeply inappropriate,” she reveals, “but I fell in love with him. I was young and gloriously ignorant, but he asked me to marry him and I said, ‘Yes!’”

The impetuous act saw Humble follow her fiancé to a crocodile farm in northern Zambia, near the border with Congo, where the crocodiles were raised for their meat. “It was incredibly remote. There were no roads — you had to get there by boat — and no electricity or anything. But I was in love, or I thought I was.

“But I didn’t marry him. He turned out to be a bit dangerous.” He wrestled crocodiles? “No, he wrestled people! So I left after a couple of months.”

Humble, who has been happily married to her TV producer husband Ludo for just over 20 years, cites that first trip to Africa as igniting her passion for its people and its wildlife.

“It was an amazing experience. You are so young and you have never encountered anything like it before. Being able to live in a very wild part of Zambia with no barriers and no safety net was exhilarating.”

She is co-presenting a three-part BBC2 series Africa 2013: Countdown to the Rains with fellow AutumnWatch host Simon King, starting next week.

“There is something rather lovely about coming back to the place that first gave me the sense of what it was like to be immersed in the natural world and, now, discovering it all over again,” she says.

Read the full interview with Kate Humble and Simon King in the new issue of Radio Times magazine, on sale now


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