Ben Fogle “deeply moved” and “horrified” by Slab City in new documentary
The documentary maker is visiting the so-called "Last Free Place on Earth" in his new Channel 5 film.
TV presenter Ben Fogle has embarked on another journey, this time to California's Slab City, in his new documentary Ben Fogle & The Lost City.
Located in the Sonoran Desert, Slab City is a barren wasteland and home to the extraordinary freedom-seeking community who survive in summer temperatures of over 50 degrees.
In the one-off film, which is set to air on Channel 5 on Thursday 21st April, Fogle travels to Slab City in order to explore the alternative lifestyle of the people who live there - an experience which he says both "moved" and "horrified him".
Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com, Fogle revealed it was an "ambition" of his to visit the place, which he'd often heard people speak about as an idolised free haven. However, he found it wasn't all it was cracked up to be.
"I think I went there obviously wanting to love it or like it, and I kind of did, but the reality is that it has a pretty dark wretched side," he explained.
"I think it's important to not sugarcoat untruths, and I think it's my responsibility as a broadcaster to be very honest about it, but I ultimately did come away with a great deal of hope."
Despite ongoing issues, Fogle - who has visited many remote places during filming for documentaries, including New Lives in the Wild - feels this was his most "exciting" journey.
He added: "I think all the people that I met were incredibly inspiring. I think those watching the show will be really moved by all the stories. And yes, there is a very, very dark side to Slab City, which is an inconvenient, uncomfortable truth that sort of tarnishes it.
"I would still say it was the most amazing 10 days of my life. I don't think I've ever been anywhere so amazing. I don't think I've ever met such extraordinary people. And I was deeply moved by the whole thing.
"It felt like the most exciting expedition that I had ever been on because it challenged me, it tested me, it moved me and horrified me - all of those things."
Ben Fogle & The Lost City airs Thursday 21st April at 9pm on Channel 5
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