Sir Ranulph Fiennes is recognised as 'The World's Greatest Living Explorer' and one of the World's leading Motivational Speakers.
Born in 1944 and educated at Eton, he served with the Royal Scots Greys before joining the SAS. In 1968 he joined the Army of the Sultan of Oman and in 1970 was awarded the Sultan's Bravery Medal. In the same year he married his wife, Virginia. (In 1987 Virginia was the first woman to be awarded the Polar Medal. Sadly, Virginia passed away in 2004.)
Having led 22 major expeditions to remote parts of the world, including both Poles, he is currently the only man alive to have travelled around the Earth's circumpolar surface. He was also the first explorer to completely cross the Antarctic continent unsupported, and in 2009, aged 65, climbed to the summit of Mount Everest, the oldest Briton ever to do so.
Since 1969, when he led the British Expedition on the White Nile, Ranulph Fiennes has been at the forefront of many exploratory expeditions. Described in 1984 as the"World's Greatest Living Explorer" by the Guinness Book of Records.
· Transglobe (the first surface journey around the world's polar axis) 1979/82 during which Ranulph Fiennes and Charles Burton became the first people ever to reach both Poles by surface travel.
· North Polar Unsupported Expedition (furthest north unsupported record) 1986, Anglo Soviet North Pole Expedition 1990/91.
· Co-leader of the Ubar Expedition (which in 1991 discovered Ptolemy's long-lost Atlantis of the Sands, the frankincense centre of the world)
· Leader of the Pentland South Pole Expedition (which achieved the first unsupported crossing of the Antarctic Continent and the longest unsupported polar journey in history) 1992/93.
· Also in 2003 Sir Ranulph Fiennes, with Dr Mike Stroud, ran 7 marathons, in 7 days, on 7 continents. This, despite his having suffered a major heart attack and double bypass operation in June 2003.
· In 2007, he climbed the North Face of the Eiger and raised over £1.71 million for Marie Curie Cancer Care.
· In 2009, he conquered Everest (aged 65) raising funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care.
The Coldest Journey - 2013
After 5 years of planning, in 2012, Sir Ranulph Fiennes set off on his latest expedition, leading the first team on foot, across Antarctica, during the southern winter, raising money 'Seeing is Believing'
The six-month expedition called 'the Coldest Journey' would involve Sir Ranulph leading his team across terrain where the temperature has hit -90C.
The team were dropped off by ship on the Pacific coast of the continent and waited for the equinox before setting off over the ice shelf in 2013.
Unfortunately, Sir Ranulph's involvement with the crossing was brought to a halt in February during last minute training. Due to a white-out, whilst testing bindings for his skis, Sir Ranulph had to remove his gloves to gain a grip on the bindings and ultimately suffered frostbite in one hand.
Sir Ranulph was evacuated from the Antarctic to receive treatment for his hand, which brought an end to his involvement with the team.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes has been awarded an honorary degree from Loughborough University, the University of Central England in Birmingham and the University of Portsmouth; and in 1997 The Royal Institute of Navigation awarded Sir Ranulph Honorary Membership.
In 2000 The Explorers Club, British Chapter, honoured Sir Ranulph with the Polar Exploration Millennium Award.
In 1995, Her Majesty the Queen awarded Sir Ranulph Fiennes a 2nd clasp to the Polar Medal which he already has in recognition of his outstanding achievements in Polar exploration, and in particular, his attempts to reach the North Pole between 1988 and 1990 and his successful trek across Antarctica in 1992/93. (No-one else has a double clasp medal each of which acknowledges both Arctic and Antarctic achievements.)
In May 2007, Sir Ranulph was awarded The Greatest Britons 2007 Sport Award.
To date, Sir Ranulph Fiennes has raised over £14.2 million for UK charities through his expeditions and in 1993 was awarded an OBE for "human endeavour and charitable services".
Sir Ranulph Fiennes' first book was published in 1970, and since then he has written 13 further works including his autobiography Living Dangerously 1987, The Feather Men (UK Number One Bestseller 1991), Atlantis of the Sands 1992, Mind Over Matter (a harrowing account of his Antarctic expedition 1993), The Sett 1996, Fit For Life 1998, Beyond the Limits 2000, The Secret Hunters 2000, Captain Scott (best-selling biography of 2003), Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know (best-selling autobiography 2007) and My Heroes: Extraordinary Courage, Exceptional People (Sir Ranulph writes about the people who have inspired him 2011)
By drawing the analogy between nature's most dangerous and difficult challenges, and the very real day-to-day business challenges, Sir Ranulph Fiennes involves each individual in the audience on a very personal level.
The elements vital to the success of an expedition include teamwork, determination, patience, discipline, enthusiasm and creative thinking. Building a team with the right character and attitude is of paramount importance.
Persistence, tolerance, planning skills, high organisational ability, flexibility to meet and beat unexpected obstacles, goal-setting and performing under extreme pressure are clearly all factors in the success of Sir Ranulph's remarkable endeavours. The same qualities are all crucial to success in the business world.
If you want your audience, large or small, both entertained and inspired, Sir Ranulph Fiennes is your speaker. He tells with humour how from inauspicious beginnings and false starts he reached the pinnacle of his chosen profession. He won through against international rivals by hard work, enormous commitment. Lateral thought and teamwork to achieve goals previously considered impossible.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes is a popular choice for international audiences when English is the second tongue.