Phillip Schofield goes swimming with sharks in South Africa

The presenter of This Morning also braved the world's highest abseil


Be careful what you wish for. When Phillip Schofield casually mentioned on This Morning that swimming with sharks was on his bucket list, he soon found himself doing just that.


In Schofield’s South African Adventure (tonight, ITV, 8pm), he and his wife Stephanie go cage-diving with great white sharks. They also abseil down Table Mountain and go on safari for the first time.

“This was a definite first for me,” he says. “And to be honest, I was a little worried at first when I realised how keen bosses were to put me with all these dangerous creatures! But every part of the trip was mind-blowing and an absolute dream of mine to do.”

“The whole trip was a fantastic experience. I learnt more about wine, I got to see some of my all-time favourite animals up close… it was the trip of a lifetime for sure.”

Below, he talks us through his holiday snaps… 

 Radio Times Travel: Classic South Africa, 14 nights £2,199

At South Africa’s oldest vineyard Groot Constantia 

“We hired this car, a Porsche Speedster, for a day and this is at the vineyards at Groot Constantia – the wine there was absolutely stunning. I obviously only drove the car to the winery before I had the wine! The car was so beautiful to look at but it was a pig to drive… with an unyielding gearbox and a conspiracy going on with the clutch, nothing inside really worked! I loved that about it, and for a day it was great fun and looked fantastic, but I would not want to do a long trip in it that’s for sure! I think if I was going to pick an old car, I’d pick an old Jaguar XK120 or something like that.”

Coming face-to-face with a great white shark

“I actually have taken my open water scuba-diving course. I thought we’d be scuba-diving but the bubbles disturb the sharks. So when you want to see the shark, you hold your breath and duck. It takes a while to get the hang of putting your head under the water at just the right moment.”

Admiring the view from Table Mountain, Cape Town

“Table Mountain really was breathtaking. You’re up three thousand feet high and the view from Signal Hill back to Table Mountain is spectacular…  they call it the tablecloth when the cloud covers the top of Table Mountain, but for us every shot was crystal clear.”

Abseiling from Table Mountain

“This is the moment where you’re about to go over the edge! You get an idea of how far down it is because you can see the buildings and the city underneath. I did abseil down the side of the ITV Tower once – – and you’re just as dead if you fall from the top of ITV than you are if you fall off of Table Mountain… it just might take slightly longer!”

“I’m the one on the right.”

At Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, Cape Town

“This was the day after the crew left and Steph and I said ‘right, where haven’t we ticked off’! In the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens there’s a walk you can go through a tree canopy, so you walk really high up and you get a treetop-eye-view of that part of the forest, and it was absolutely beautiful. It was also a very scary day because we then decided we were going to go down to the Cape of Good Hope and our cab driver told us we had plenty of time, which turned out to be slightly light on the truth. We only just made it to our flight home!”

Schofield’s South African Adventure begins on Friday 24 February ITV 8pm

Radio Times Travel holidays

Classic South Africa, 14 nights £2,199. What’s included:

  • Experience the colour and traditions of the Lesedi Cultural Village

  • Visit the Apartheid Museum

  • Overnight in an authentic Game Lodge

  • Enjoy a sunset drive, bush walk and full day’s Game Drive in the Kruger National Park

  • Discover Mpumalanga’s stunning scenery – including famous God’s Window

  • Visit tiny Swaziland and the eZulwini Valley

  • Learn about the battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift from an expert historian

  • Fly from Johannesburg to ‘Friendly City’ Port Elizabeth

  • Journey on the beautiful Garden Route to Knysna

  • See the extraordinary Cango Caves and visit an ostrich farm

  • Stay in the heart of the scenic Winelands

  • Enjoy a winetasting tour

  • Journey through the Cape to enjoy two free days in glorious Cape Town

  • 14 nights’ accommodation in Lesedi Cultural Village (2 nights), Shalati Kruger Lodge (1), Stille Woning (2), Dundee (2), Port Elizabeth (1), Knysna (2), Stellenbosch (1) and Cape Town (3) sharing on a bed and breakfast basis with three dinners and three lunches

  • Return scheduled flights, outbound to Johannesburg (returning from Cape Town) via Amsterdam and an internal flight between Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth

  • Click here for more details and to book