Boorman and McGregor planning another Long Way Down?

Intrepid adventurers seek new thrills

Posted: 16 January 2012
by Visordown News

Link: Has Ewan McGregor saved the UK motorcycle industry?

McGregor and Charley Boorman are talking about a third motorcycle adventure, according to Boorman.

In an interview on Saturday Morning Kitchen, Boorman talked about his motorcycle adventures with actor-pal McGregor and said that the duo were in discussion about a third adventure follow-up to Long Way Round and Long Way Down.

The pair hit the headlines in 2004 when they started off on their Long Way Round motorcycle adventure, riding east from London to New York. In 2007, the pair's next trip was called Long Way Down, where they rode from Scotland to South Africa.

Since the Long Way episodes, Boorman has filmed By Any Means and Extreme Frontiers. In By Any Means, Boorman headed from Ireland to Australia, using any transport available. The program often showed Boorman freaking out when locals tried to make him to anything slightly off-track. In Extreme Frontiers, Boorman heads across Canada on his motorcycle and suffers a panic attack when diving in Lake Huron. Karl Pilkington, eat your heart out.

What are your suggestions for the next in the Long Way episodes?

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Long Way Up ? Blast Boorman into space....

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 10:00

Wrong way down - where they set off from London heading to Cape Town but end up in Tibet having taken the wrong turning off the M25? Oh how we laughed (not)....Seriously wouldn't they be better off finding someone new & interesting to do something new & interesting?

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 10:04

long way away?

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 10:12

Boorman must need a cash top up as he is known for nothing else, how about a trip through Afghanistan and Iraq.

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 10:14

Why the hate? The more motorcycle related shows the better and LWR and LWD were quite interesting for most of us. By Any Means not so much but there is worse crap on TV. I say bring it on!

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 10:29

Northern tip of Canada to the southern most tip of South America.

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 10:30

I agree with Jens in the whole why the hate for Boorman, yeah he may have a slightly grating personality for some, but I'd rather see bikes on tv, than none. Plus Paul S's suggestion above is probably the best, but i'd do it the other way round and go South to North calling it the Long Way Up. Simples

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 10:41

He gets on my nerves too. Fail to see why we need yet another one of these things. Essentially it's him and Macgregor on some pointless wet dream they thought up.

There's better ways to put bikes on telly.....

How about the WSBK test from PI for example...

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 10:58

I can't believe how short sighted and up your own arse some people are, the whole bike industry is on its knees and things like this give it a boast, I can't stand them and won't watch, but then I don't need to as I am a biker, if this gets some people onto bikes then it can only be a good thing for the lot of us.

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 11:15

You beat me to it Thoppa .........................

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 11:34

I think (dangerous I know) that it will inevitably be Long Way Up - the Americas and the Pan-Americana thing. Anyway - the whole 'hate Ewan and Charlie' is understandable in some ways. I say this as I spent two years trying to attract sponsorship ( and then gave up. In the early days I was really annoyed at not being able to attract anything DESPITE the uniqueness of my own journey; and it was unique. Then I realised I was simply jealous of them in some ways. Nothing wrong with that I suppose. But I also realised it served no purpose for me personally. So I shouted 'good on ya' from that point onwards to anybody who was lucky enough to live their dream and have gear given to them for whatever reason. I also came to understand - watching their series - that nothing is truly for free - the commercial pressures of time and work ruined their experience of Long Way Down. I operated under no such pressures and could go where I wanted, when I wanted, and for as long as my money held out. Just a thought! Best wishes to everybody out there and no disrespect intended to any other person's views!

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 11:59

I'd like to see them do a trip totally unsupported, except for a maybe a cameraman on another bike. Plenty of people do these trips unsupported, even on bicycles. I think the slight reduction in film quality would be more than made up with, by the increase in a sense of adventure. Something a bit like their first trip or Mondo Enduro would be more entertaining. I've not prefence in the route - there are pretty much no untravelled routes these days, although down the west coast of Africa, central asia or crossing the Darien gap would be interesting.

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 12:00

America, north to south... has to be

As long as McGregor's wife doesn't gate crash it it should be good!

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 12:19

Anywhere but lets see if they can do it without the support vehicles and the annoying producer(s) and definitely without the winging wife in tow!

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 12:25

How about "The Long Way Up"? Cape Horn to Barrow Alaska?

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 12:43

It will be - if they do it - Long Way up. They've been talking about it for ages. The only thing that stopped them was Ewan's work commitments which kept stalling it - so people say.

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 12:45

Howabout thinking about your own mini adventure rather than living your life through others?
Just get on your bike and ride. You don't need to cross continents or have corporate sponsorship to enjoy your bike and the road. From a long weekend to an epic ride...whatever fits.

best wishes

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 12:51

Interesting responses so far... all of them... and I'll throw in my 2 cents.. or pence here...

I can pick apart the flaws and rag on the negatives very easily... But I take the position that a number of others here have... and that it shows motorcycling in a positive light... and that is a good thing...

Plus, I think that Ewan, Charlie and Claudio have a pretty good screen presence and chemistry that is entertaining...

I watch the "Long Ways" more in the vein as a motorcycle based adventure travelog rather than a "us in the cuds blazing new trails" film... and yes, I have both series and I've watched them more than once, as I see something new each time I watch them.

For me, they have shown me places that I have (obviously) never been and in some cases, never seen any film/TV on before. And they have opened my eyes in any number of ways to the various geographies and cultures out there...

Watching the cultural and economic transitions as they head east from the UK and W. Europe on into eastern Europe, to Mongolia and then on to Siberia was and still is, really cool on the "Round" trip... And who knew that Ethiopia was such a beautiful and mountainous country... Heck, my previous impressions were based on and around the famine of years back...

As another endorsement... my ex wife, who is anti motorcycle and hates it when I take our daughters on rides... enjoys watching it... and has begun to understand, somewhat, what the appeal of motorcycle travel is... And that effect on her and anyone else like her in the general public, especially here in the States, where "biker" is a dirty word, is invaluable...

Plus, watching the movies just makes me want to get out and ride... go travel... dream of an extended trip somewhere... and that IS a good thing...

It's easy to knock Ewan and (especially) Charlie... but I'd rather applaud them... Good on them for doing the trips and letting me see some really great places and experiences..

B. Smith 2, sorry that you haven't been able to get your trip funded yet... great attitude and insight about it mate...

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 13:13

What about "Real Way Down/Up/Across" where they do the same journeys as before but with a massively reduced number of support crew? Perhaps do the Americas, but with just the two of them and a camera bike?

Or maybe they could do it against a limited budget, trying to do a similar journey with barely enough for fuel etc?

I dunno, something that would make it more worth watching for bikers?

I don't understand the hate thing myself. My biggest criticism is that their inability to avoid foul language makes it a massive no no for watching with my kid, which is a shame because he loves bike programs like the Dakar, BSB, WSB, Moto GP etc.

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 13:15

I liked their programmes & Long Way Round spurred me on to get my licence....

I'd like to see them do the "Motorcycle Diaries" route, I think cirumnavigating South America would be far more interesting than the good ol US of A...

Oh, and if they can keep Russ etc. off camera the programme will improve immensely IMO

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 13:19

Lets see them do lng way up and on the Triumph Explorer. Mexico maybe a problem due to safety issues. Loved the original programmes, and Charlies Dakar. The last series though appeared more of a trailer for the dvd release with little insight into Canada.

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 13:50

I loved the first series, me. And as mentioned above, its the first program about bikes my misses also enjoyed. The second series was obviously bollocks though.
Boorman's dakar attempt was brave. That series was spoilt by Fat Russ Malkin gettin his mush in at every opportunity - "Oh I'm so proud of my achievement driving somewhere in a car" Prick.
Anyway if they make a new series and rough it a bit, keep the wives and Fat Russ out of it it might be as enjoyable as the first one.

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 13:56

Another idea - Long Way Back - both blokes pushing their bikes back home from the pub smashed out of their skulls ? That might be something new ?

BTW, I like Ewan and Charlie and have nothing against them doing long tours with support teams to "entertain" us. However, I would prefer them to DO SOMETHING NEW to promote biking. Not yet another trip much the same as the last with slightly different scenery.

How about the Dakar ? How about learning to do stunts ? Learning to race ? Something where "ordinary" blokes do something we'd all like to do and makes biking (yet more) cool ?

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 14:22

How about anywhere on their own. They need a 15 man back up team along with a full surgical operating theatre, drivers to carry their kit and extra cameramen to film them being heroic. And that only when they nip to the shop for some fags and a paper. Try doing it like Nick Sanders, on his own and on an R1 (usually), might be a bit more interesting then.

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 14:48

HI there SCBonneville - no worries - we went anyway and did 26,000 miles (31 countries) through five continents. My companion (Cathy) became the first blind person to ever circle the world by motorcycle (

Personally - as I said earlier - best of luck to anyone if they get sponsorship.

Regards to everybody!

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 15:26

>My companion (Cathy) became the first blind person to ever circle the world by motorcycle (<

WOW!! So cool!! I'll check the website... and good on you for doing the trip!

My dream trip is not nearly as ambitious as a world tour... I'd just like to spend a summer on my Bonneville touring the UK and Europe... hitting the TT, Goodwood and other classic bike events, while taking in whatever cool, off the beaten track places that I could find... the Balkans and Adriatic area look to have some really great riding in them and seem to be fairly inexpensive as compared to the more developed areas of the EU...

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 15:47

I think 'The Long Ways' have been great programs in terms of showing areas of the world that are often not seen on TV and for getting people interested in motorbiking.

In homage I am now on my very own motorbike adventure, which I've called 'The Long Way Up'. I'm travelling solo from Buenos Aires to Punta Gallinas in the northern tip of Colombia to raise money for Social Housing Residents in the UK (

It's probably one of the hardest things I've ever done, but it is definitely one of the best!

I have a huge respect for everyone here who has managed to go on similar trips and for those of you who are still trying. Good luck and don't give up!

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 16:09

From Thomp's post - I agree with Jens in the whole why the hate for Boorman, yeah he may have a slightly grating personality for some, but I'd rather see bikes on tv, than none. Plus Paul S's suggestion above is probably the best, but i'd do it the other way round and go South to North calling it the Long Way Up. Simples

Let's add something else to the mix.....take totally unseasoned world adventurists, (me for instance) and set them off on a Long Way Up...sorta reality tv for motorcyclists.

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 16:13

Best comment on here, so far. Ride your own ride! I would really enjoy seeing another Charlie/Ewan movie (that's what it is, so quit whining about the support vehicles, too).

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 16:31

The Haters can bite me. I liked the first movie and the second one with the wife kinda jumped the shark. Mondo Enduro movie is more my style because they break down and fix there own stuff. I will try and ride my KLR 650 across Canada and then a trip down to South America. I do like the idea that they try to do it with a bit less support and $$$...all the free stuff they get is obnoxious.

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 21:23

Wow there is a lot of hate or jealousy going on here huh

last I spoke with charlie & Russ I was told that the Long way was always done as a trilogy and the final part is the Long Way Up.. from Ushuaia the most southern part of Argentina up to Prude-hoe bay in the top of Alaska. But all the original team has to be Available and wanting to do it otherwise they wont proceed.

it will be a great thing to see when it's actually filmed I think.

The third part will be the best too i know Ive done it.

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 23:23

Enjoyed reading all of these comments, what a great fraternity bikers are!

Personally endorse that the worst components were the wife and that trumped up self efficacious producer Malkin. He might do a good logistical job but please keep him off camera.

I hope they find a new formula as a repeat will probably be as successful as Pirates #4. How about inviting some of us along and making up a group? I'd pay to watch Charlie fall off a wheelie!

Bottom line is if it promotes biking then Id like to see another one.

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 23:31

How about Long in the tooth?

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 23:46

The end of the Ewan/Charlie Trilogy would of course be a Long Way up the Americas, but that is a little bit uninteresting. The first one was great, but the LWD only half the entertainment of the first one. I would welcome them to my habitat (Iceland) and let them tackle different terrain like sand, gravel, lava roads, real river crossings, highland and all. I know they are up for it.

Posted: 16/01/2012 at 23:49

Aceh in West Sumatra to the border of West Papua/Papua New Guinea. That's the furthest points West to East in the Indonesian Archipelago. It would make great TV viewing from a country where probably 200 million people get around on 2 wheels.

Posted: 17/01/2012 at 01:25

The Really Long Way Round:

UK, Europe, Levant, Sub-Continent, Burma (now open), Indo-China, Micronesia, Indonesia, Australia, NZ, Chile, rest of South America, Mexico, US, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Faroes, back to UK.

Not just trooping round the top of the Northern Hemisphere.

Posted: 17/01/2012 at 02:18

To all those haters out there grow up and stop winging about the fortunes of other people. Unless you something constructive to add to this forum then why don't you just p***off!

Posted: 17/01/2012 at 07:49

Long past it's sell by date?

"I'm a successful actor with more money than i know what to do with so what should i do? Blag another free holiday of a lifetime! Don't forget to take my failed minor celebrity leech of a friend with me, and see if i can get my wife another freebie whilst i'm at it."

How about do some reality TV that would actually be interesting. Stand around at some traffic lights and get the first 2 bikers (not commuters under tucano blankets with their chin straps flapping in the breeze) and say "Fancy a trip round the world on us?"

I agree that more bikes on mainstream TV is a good thing. But i agree more with John Doe 3, look at Nick Sanders for a real adventure ride around the world. Not 2 'stars' with a dakar style back up crew following
them round.

To reply to David Crowson and others saying that we are whingers and haters who shouldn't moan about the fortunes of others, I doubt that Ewan and Charlie would have got these 2 programmes and Charlie's subsequent 'career' if they were 2 scaffolders that had walked into the production company....

Posted: 17/01/2012 at 09:28

+1 to keep Russ off camera ;O)

More seriously, I'm not sure that the Alaska to Ushuaia (or visa versa) would really work as TV program. Marc Beaumont did this for the BBC not too long ago, by bicycle plus he climbed the two highest peaks in the America's on the way. Not saying they shouldn't do anything in the Americas as long as it's not just another Pan American Highway Trip - you can do most of this route by public bus after all.

Posted: 17/01/2012 at 10:01

I've got a really great idea! How about a long distance trip on a motorcycle? ...Along with a film crew, half a dozen landrovers as back up. A hospital bus and don't forget the canteen truck.....Remember, none of the back up crew can be in the film because that would spoil the effect?.....Why don't they take a propper trip? Just themselves?.....I suggest Southend pier, right to the end!

Posted: 17/01/2012 at 13:58

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