Eden Court, Inverness
28th May 2015
Niall McCann is a TV Presenter (Biggest & Baddest), Explorer, Adventurer and Biologist. In Adventure: Red in Tooth & Claw, Niall recounts his adventures in a compelling audio/visual supported talk which enthralls adventurers and laypeople alike. His talk is divided into two separate parts; the first detailing his extraordinary adventures while in the second half he talks about his ecological and conservation work, linking both together by his passion for exploring and appreciation of the wilderness.
As an explorer he has travelled the planet, turning his hand to a variety of expeditions and methods of undertaking them; two biking trips in the Himalayas (climbing the highest road in the world), big wall (cliff) climbing in Yosemite park-USA, skiing across Greenland, rowing the Atlantic, mountaineering in the Alps, ski-mountaineering, ice climbing and speed flying (a sort of crazy paragliding) in the Caledonian Alps-Greenland.
During his tales he is very depreciative about his own level of skill. He claims he is not a great climber- with a fear of heights, not the best rower, skier or cyclist but then in his next breath he goes and describes some amazing achievements he has made in all of these skills. It is not false modesty (although he is obviously very talented) so much as to point out that it is the determination not to give up that helps him the most in achieving his goal. Niall is very talented in bringing across each story and easily drew the audience into the tale to the point where they were at the edge of their seats. There are triumphs and failures, great dangers and moments of pure hilarity.
Niall has spent several years on conservationist expeditions in some of the most remote parts of the globe. His interest in biological sciences is very much driven by his whole family; in fact all of his family has been involved in zoological or conservation research. During his research trips he has help discover new species, directly help the protection of rare animals and had dozens of brushes with death at the jaws and claws of the world’s most charismatic dangerous animals. Niall’s talk about the events that led him to lobby the Honduras government to protect a very special National Park in particular was inspiring.
He is a very compelling speaker and makes even complex ideas easy for anyone to understand. A truly interesting personality and well worth seeing when he next tours the country.
Reviewer : Lucy Tonkin