Ben Fogle: New Lives in the Wild

Leyte, Philippines (Jungle)

Series 2 - Episode 3 Leyte, Philippines (Jungle)



Ben Fogle has to earn his money in this episode, putting a brave face on a hellish assignment. As he arrives in a remote part of the Philippines, at the house of 45-year-old American Neil Hoag, he must wonder what his researchers have got him into. Neil is a complex, moody character and his position as the only white man for miles around, in the depths of the jungle, paying the locals to do odd jobs for him, feels iffy.

With scenes of animal slaughter (cutting a chicken’s head off, slaughtering a pig), it’s like a Poundland version of Apocalypse Now, with shaven-headed Neil in the Brando role. “Home,” he quips at one stage, “is where you hang yourself.” Charming.


The adventurer journeys to a remote part of Leyte, one of the 7,000 tropical islands that make up the Philippines, to spend time with Neil Hoag, a 45-year-old former taxi driver from Florida. Ben joins the coconut farmer and his young family in their hillside bamboo house to experience daily life in a harsh and unforgiving climate, discovering why Neil ditched the hunt for the American dream.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Ben Fogle
Director Livia Simoka
Executive Producer Melanie Darlaston
Executive Producer Harry Lansdown
Executive Producer Tony Moulsdale
Producer Livia Simoka
Series Director Natalie Wilkinson
Series Producer Natalie Wilkinson
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