UK actor and daredevil Charley Boorman gets candid about his risky biking career

UK presenter, actor, writer and adventurer Charley Boorman has written a book detailing the journey to recovery after an horrific accident that almost ended his career.

The book, titled Long Way Back, describes his journey back to health after he shattering his left leg and broke his right ankle and hand last year.

The 50-year-old star is best known for biking travel documentaries Long Way Round and Long Way Down with his friend, actor Ewan McGregor.

Doctors thought he would never be able to walk again, but Boorman is back on his feet and sharing his story.

The last couples of years have been a bit painful for me.

Charley Boorman, English TV presenter, adventure motorcyclist, writer and actor

He says that he was seven when he first rode a motorbike and jokes that he's been crashing them ever since.

Motorbikes have been in my life for as long as I can remember.

Charley Boorman, English TV presenter, adventure motorcyclist, writer and actor

I did a whole bunch of movies with my dad and then I did a film called 'The Emerald Forest' where I was the lead.

Charley Boorman, English TV presenter, adventure motorcyclist, writer and actor

A number of years later, my career was heading south because I kept choosing movies for their location.

Charley Boorman, English TV presenter, adventure motorcyclist, writer and actor

We were making a film in Ireland and we met at this pub. I went over to Ewan McGregor and said 'I heard you've got a Moto Guzzi California', which is a type of motorcycle. He went 'yeah' and that's all we've ever spoken about ever since then for the last 22 years.

Charley Boorman, English TV presenter, adventure motorcyclist, writer and actor

Ewan McGregor and I became great friends. At one stage, we thought it would be a nice idea to ride around the world.

Charley Boorman, English TV presenter, adventure motorcyclist, writer and actor

Like all these things, timing is everything. I think we just got a bit lucky.

Charley Boorman, English TV presenter, adventure motorcyclist, writer and actor

We did't make it very bike-centric. It was very much about the people that we met along the way.

Charley Boorman, English TV presenter, adventure motorcyclist, writer and actor

Take a listen to him reflect on his journey:

40 odd years of riding motorbikes and I've broken bits and pieces of bones before.

Charley Boorman, English TV presenter, adventure motorcyclist, writer and actor

What was unfortunate about the accident was that it was both legs.

Charley Boorman, English TV presenter, adventure motorcyclist, writer and actor

I ended up in bed for three months and five or six months in wheelchair.

Charley Boorman, English TV presenter, adventure motorcyclist, writer and actor

When your'e recuperating, small things become really important, like trying to finally get onto a toilet or into a shower.

Charley Boorman, English TV presenter, adventure motorcyclist, writer and actor

I ended up having all these bad injuries. It's taken until now, 18 moths later, and I'm still hobbling around.

Charley Boorman, English TV presenter, adventure motorcyclist, writer and actor

I can't run, but I can ride a bike.

Charley Boorman, English TV presenter, adventure motorcyclist, writer and actor

Boorman is in South Africa with Triumph Motorcycles and they'll be doing a live show at Market Hall at Grandwest on Monday 28 August.


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