M&CSaatchi Merlin

James Cracknell OBE

Sportsman and Adventurer

With 2 Olympic Gold Medals, 6 World Championship titles, James Cracknell OBE is an inspiring sportsman, athlete and adventurer.

After retiring from competitive rowing in 2006, James and his friend, Ben Fogle, completed The Race Across the Atlantic, an experience which was documented in the BBC/TwoFour television programme, Through Hell and High Water. Cracknell and Fogle also wrote a book about the race, titled The Crossing: Conquering the Atlantic in the World’s Toughest Rowing Race.

Only two years later in 2008, James paired up with Ben Fogle again, this time alongside Dr Ed Coats, in order to take part in the gruelling Amundsen Omega3 South Pole Race, which they successfully completed. This adventure was also broadcast on the BBC in 5 1 hour, prime-time Sunday night programmes, On Thin Ice. Again, James wrote about this experience in his book, Race to the Pole. 

In 2010, James attempted to cross America by cycling, running, rowing and swimming from LA to New York in record time. It was during this trip that James suffered a near fatal accident after being struck from behind by a truck while cycling through Arizona. After a difficult six-month recovery period, James went to the Canadian Yukon, completing The Coldest Race on Earth. These stunning adventures transmitted as ‘Unstoppable: The James Cracknell Trilogy’ on Discovery.

Following this, James’s fronted a series for Discovery; ‘World’s Toughest Expeditions’ in 2012.  The series saw James push himself to the limit of endurance by attempting to completed the 4 greatest adventures of our time. A year later in 2013, James paired up with Ben Fogle yet again for the BBC documentary Ben & James Versus the Arabian Desert. 

2015 saw James launch his partnership with JML as the ambassador for Nutriblitzer and Awesome Gym, as well as continuing to face campaigns for Karrimor and Biosynergy. Alongside this, James also starred in ITV’s new sports-science programme Eternal Glory, in which he competed against other former athletes and sports stars, showcasing his outstanding mental and physical dedication by making the final of the competition.

James is the BBC’s commentator for Rowing, and will be involved in the coverage for the Rio Olympics in 2016.

James is as an entertaining and motivational after-dinner speaker, being able to draw on his different experiences throughout his varied career and personal life. He lives with his wife, TV and Radio presenter Beverley Turner, and their 3 children.