As a TV presenter, author and father to two children, nine-year-old Ludo and seven-year-old Iona, Ben Fogle has proved that he really can do it all. Previously chatting to HELLO!, the star opened up about how he manages parenting with his work commitments, and how fatherhood has changed over the last few decades. Speaking about juggling his work activities with being a hands on dad, the Britain's Top 100 Dogs Livepresenter admitted it was difficult at times, but spending time with Ludo and Iona was always his priority.
"I love spending time with the children, that's my favourite thing," he explained. "I'm obviously away a huge amount so to actually be with the children I love for us to go on adventures together. We travel a lot around the world and Great Britain - we're very lucky to do that - and nothing gives me more pleasure than introducing them to a place, some people, some animals… I love seeing the inspiration in their eyes.
Ben opened up about his son, Ludo
"It can be hard to be that modern progressive dad as well as in a tough business world whoever you are whatever you're doing you work harder now… work is competitive for everyone out there now and especially for me with all my travels and given that work constantly takes me away, it's quite hard to juggle all of that."
Speaking about how his children have inherited his love for the outdoors and animals, the proud dad said: "Ludo has said he wanted to be a vet pretty much from when he could talk, he loves animals. We have a black Labrador called Storm who he absolutely loves. My father – his grandfather – was a vet and he loves going to the veterinary clinic and sitting in on the operations and sitting in on the consultations so I know he would love to work with animals one day. But he's fascinated by travel and I was lucky enough to take them to Africa and they loved seeing all the big African animals and they got to meet baby elephants… Iona as well. She's a little bit quieter, she's very athletic, and I think she'll actually be quite a good sportswoman."
Ben spoke about being a modern day dad to his two children
Recent research from Cartoon Network has revealed that boys aged six to 12 prefer reading a book to playing football, a statistic that Ben tells us is somewhat true about little Ludo. He said: "Most children like a little bit of everything, they get bored with too much of one thing and Ludo loves nothing more than to disappear into a book but then he'd want to take the dog for a walk or climb trees. I would say Ludo is a typical boy,he has lots of energy he needs to get rid of and he loves running around and playing games... but he's also a very imaginative child. He's very happy to sit at a table and just draw things... He's very cool I'm obviously a biased father but he's awesome."
Although the 43-year-old adventurer revealed that he had a great relationship with his father growing up, Ben spoke about how parenting for dads in particular had changed over the years. He said: "I think a modern father is probably quite different from my father's generation. Only a few decades ago I think a father was a little more hands off, it was the old cliché of mother's doing all the nappies and doing all the cooking and the father kicking a football around a little bit on the weekend and that was it but now that has changed dramatically now that parenting is a shared role. Mothers and fathers almost have a 50/50 role now and it certainly wasn't like that decades ago… I have a very good relationship with my father… but yes I would say that I probably have a slightly different relationship with Ludo aged six or seven than my father did when I was six or seven.
The adventurer revealed where he'd most like to take Ludo and Iona
So what's up next for little Ludo and Iona? Ben revealed that he would love to take his two children with him to the North Pole one day. "I can't wait to actually go on a big proper exciting adventure with them," he admitted. "We've been on a few…we've been to Africa and we've been to the middle east and the Caribbean but I'm looking forward to genuinely climbing mountains and paddling across lakes if they want to do it. I'm hoping Ludo and Iona are keen to go to the North Pole so I'm saving that for them."