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Adventurer Ben Fogle is feeling fine after drink-spiking episode

February 20, 2013
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Ben Fogle has recovered from the "full-on psychotic episode" that he suffered on Friday night as a result of having his drink spiked in a Gloucestershire pub. "It was a horrifying experience of course, especially going through all the tests and having to wait for the results," a spokesperson for Ben told HELLO! Online. "But he is fine now." The 39-year-old adventurer recalled the incident and described himself "ranting, marching up and down, hitting walls, trying to jump out of windows."

"My wife and friends kept trying to calm me down as I was threatening to hurt myself. I was 100 per cent out of my normal character," he said. The father-of-two said he realised something "very strange" was happening to him when he went to pick up his 19-month-old daughter Iona and she felt "incredibly light" and he then had an urge to jump through a window. Ben spent about 12 hours in A&E and spent three days being seen by psychiatrists and having tests on his heart and brain. Although the hospital was unable to run toxicology tests, they said they believed his problems were brought on by a spiked drink. On Wednesday Ben tweeted, "Whoever spiked my drink with mind altering drugs and put me in A&E with a psychotic fit. Did you think of the damage you would cause?" "Thank you for concern. I am fine now. Thanks to the NHS staff and, on behalf of whoever did this, sorry for wasting your time and resources," he later added. He has had to delay his upcoming five-week trip to the Middle East to film his latest BBC show because of the episode.

The professional globetrotter has recently returned from South-East Asia where he spent time with orang-utans in Sarawak, on the north-east coast of Borneo. He spent two days at the Matang Wildlife Centre observing its 24 orang-utan inhabitants. Three years ago while filming in the Peruvian rainforest, Ben caught a life-threatening, flesh-eating disease, mucosal leishmaniasis, and had to undertake chemotherapy. But this experience didn’t spoil Ben’s enthusiasm for the Malaysian rainforest. "It’s such an exciting place," he said. "There are so many noises, you can’t even imagine what’s making them – it buzzes, it hums, it sounds like children screaming at times." Ben, who is father to Ludo, three, and Iona, joked, "the orang-utans were the same sort of age in terms of their development, although slightly hairier versions. They had tantrums, threw themselves down and refused to move." The dedicated dad, who is based in London with his wife Marina Hunt, said of his jet set schedule, "The hardest thing about my career is the absence, the missing and the longing. I have a mantra for my children when I go away, which is ‘Daddy always comes back’ and my little boy repeats it when my little daughter cries. It’s my way of trying to make it easier for them." Although he tries to limit time spent away his family to no longer than ten days, his next journey will see him away for a prolonged period as she attempts to swim the Atlantic. He was originally planning to attempt the 3,000-mile, 100-day swim from the US to Cornwall this year, until he realised he wasn’t sufficiently prepared and postponed it until next year. The explorer said, "I think as a child I always wondered if it was possible. A lot of people out there don’t think it is, but that’s part of the attraction. If everyone thought it was very achievable it wouldn’t be a proper challenge, would it?"

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