Habouring Ben’s Desires

Harbour Lives is back, as Ben Fogle revisits Dorset, a place close to his heart, to see how life ticks on and get involved with the day to day lives of people who call this beautiful part of the world ‘home’.

Ben Fogle returns to Britain’s biggest natural harbour, Poole.  By land, sea and air, Ben will explore all aspects of the place where he grew up – meeting the people who live and work in this stunning part of Dorset’s Jurassic coastline, discovering the unique stories they have to tell.  From the generations-old fishing families, newcomers escaping the rat-race, and the high-flyers of millionaires row on Sandbanks, there’s nowhere quite like this part of Britain.

In the opening episode of the new series, Ben meets former lawyer Jeremy Channon, who recently gave up a six-figure salary to go into the family lobster fishing business.   It’s a 5am start for Ben as he joins Jeremy on the hunt for kilo-sized lobsters to find out why he swapped his high-flying city job for a life at sea.  Frustratingly, the day’s catch isn’t great as many of the lobsters are undersized, and with high daily running costs of the boat, can Ben help bring in a catch big enough to help Jeremy and his crew break even?

Ben also meets local astro-photographer, Stephen Banks, who introduces him to the secretive world of night-time landscape photography.  Stephen takes Ben to one of Dorset’s most iconic landmarks – Durdle Door – to attempt to photograph it in pitch darkness.   An initially skeptical Ben is soon blown away by the truly breath-taking images he is able to capture, which opens his eyes to seeing Dorset in a whole new perspective.

Finally, Ben discovers the secret behind the mining of one of the most important building blocks of Britain – Portland Stone. Sought after by architects for over 1,000 years, this distinctive limestone was the material of choice for Sir Christopher Wren when rebuilding St. Paul’s Cathedral after the Great Fire of London.  Ben meets mine manager Mark Godden for an exclusive tour of the mines and to find out the mind-boggling methods used to extract this 145 million-year-old Dorset stone.

Harbour Lives on ITV, Thursdays at 8.30pm from 17th July.