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BBC TV presenter in horrific rock climbing fall

July 20, 2008

BBC wildlife presenter Steve Backshall, who lives in Wooburn Green, has broken his back in a horrific rock climbing accident.

The former Really Wild Show frontman plummeted 25ft onto rocks after attempting to scale a difficult cliff face in the rain.

Steve, 35, shattered his lower leg and spine in two places. The force of the impact sent his heel bone straight through the bottom of his foot, while the jolt dislocated his ankle and fractured two vertebrae.

Fortunately there was no spinal chord damage, which could have left him permanently paralysed from the neck down.

Eyewitnesses say he was ”screaming in agony” after the accident at the Wye Valley in the Forest of Dean, Gloucester, last Saturday.

Speaking from his hospital bed, Steve, an experienced rock climber, said his safety equipment failed to work correctly because the cliff he was attempting to climb was too wet.

He said: “When I landed, all I can remember is hitting the ground with a sickening thud, and being in a huge amount of pain.

“I can’t begin to describe how painful it was – it’s worse than anything I’d ever experienced before.

“But I’m lucky it wasn’t a whole lot worse – I could have been paralysed or worse.”

After his fall, Steve’s climbing partner helped him walk – with the aid of a stick – for 45 minutes back to the car, and drove him to Bristol Royal Infirmary.

Steve, who hopes to leave hospital sometime this week, said his recovery could take at least six weeks.

He explained the injuries will delay three adventure TV programmes he is currently filming. But his new series, the ‘Lost Land of the Jaguar’, is scheduled to be screened on BBC One on Wednesday, July 30.

Thanks to Neil Phillips of the Bucks Free Press for the above article – we wish Steve a speedy and complete recovery.

Steve Backshall
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One comment

  1. Hi Steve
    I hope you are much better now after your fall last year, I am a very big fan of you, and hope to see much more with you on TV, have just seen you on danish TV from Guyana.
    Take care
    Arne



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