WHAT HE DID Shelbourne was the creative behind JWT’s advertiser-funded programming for Shell Helix, in partnership with North One Productions and Discovery Channel.
How did this come about? My Shell client is open to new ideas, such as making a global TV show featuring an SUV filled with celebrities, professional racers and Shell Helix engine oil going to some very challenging places. Johnnie Mitchell (a suit) did "the persuading" and Dean Baker (head of JWT Entertainment) made it happen.
Tell us about the making of this series. We required skills you don’t usually need on a shoot. We had Ranulph Fiennes’ right-hand man, an "adventure mechanic", a medic and some ex-special forces gentlemen. We were trained by the special forces guys before we left.
What was the toughest location? Siberia was seriously cold and the desert horrifically hot; however, there’s not a lot of worrying animal life in those places. This is not true of the Malaysian jungle, which provided some interesting challenges, such as a billion leeches, king cobras, scorpions and, if you’re lucky, tigers. It’s very loud, very wet and everything wants to hurt you.
Were the stars pampered or did they muck in? I’m pleased to say there wasn’t a single moment of "diva" behaviour from any of the "stars". They ate the same food as us and slept in the same "sub-Dorchester" conditions as the rest of us.
What inspires you? I have an unshakeable belief that content is going to be very big, very soon.
What are you working on next? More of the same, if I’m lucky.
What car do you drive? My ancient 911 was stolen a couple of years ago and I now have something called an Oyster card.
What were your most memorable moments of the shoot? Eating lung soup in Siberia. Getting caught in a sandstorm. Swapping an apple for a tin of baked beans with Tom Hardy. Having breakfast in the desert with Superman in civvies. Discovering Adrien Brody is really an "adventure hippy". Having a leech pulled off my face by a marine commando. Pleased that at no point did I have to drink my own urine (Bear Grylls is just wrong about that). And discovering that the best thing to have with you if you’re going to a very inhospitable place is… a really good sense of humour.