Monty Halls, Royal Marine, Filmmaker & Marine Biologist

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“The thing I would say to anyone who's leaving the Services or has left the Services is, ‘Do not underestimate your ability to pull things off…”

Royal Marine (RM) turned marine biologist and TV presenter, Monty left the Corps in ’96, “I look back on it with the fondest, fondest memories… all my best mates, my best muccas are still bootnecks that I Served with, or joined-up with… a real eclectic mix as well… you've got eccentrics, heathen kings, warriors, intellectuals, loose cannons; a real mix of people from all backgrounds and all united under the green lid.”

Transitioning from the RM to a successful TV career didn’t happen overnight and Monty Served as Reservist as well as studying for his marine biology degree, “…Plenty of sort of dark times, you know… the thing that got me through those dark times were my muccas from the Corps… great old mates, great old relationships… we're getting better and better at it, I think, of actually hooking up with a mucca and I'd just say, 'Mate, I'm struggling a bit at the moment, actually.' And I think you're always surprised at the stories that emerge when you say that to a friend. It turns out that their life isn't all roses and platinum credit cards, either… there's a great expression that says, 'Never judge the inside of your life by the outside of someone else's.'”

Monty’s big TV break came when he competed in Channel 4’s ‘Superhumans’ and he won. Since then, his TV credits include a series for Channel Four, 'Freedom Trails', about World War II escape routes through Europe and the survivors; and the two series he made with his young family, ‘My Family and The Galapagos’.

Monty and his young family spent several months in the Galapagos, finding out the challenges of living there and; as President of the Galapagos Conservation Trust, an experienced diver and marine biologist, discovering the environmental challenges to the unique animals of the islands, as well as the fantastic conservation work going on out there, “They're such an iconic archipelago and they're the lens by which we view conservation around the world in so many ways…”

Monty takes a practical approach where environmental challenges are concerned, “You can either do something or do nothing. That's your choice… and when you look back when you're old and you look back on your life, you will think to yourself, 'I should have done something.’ Even if it's saying, 'Right, I'm not going to drink from a plastic bottle anymore… Even that decision is significant… Or 'Right, today I'm going to join a conservation group…’ So, I think it's a straight choice. It's binary, actually. These things are so overwhelming and so complicated and so nuanced, about the impacts and all that. But actually, personally, it's a binary choice. You either do something, or you do nothing. That's it, that's your choice, right now, today. And it's really easy to do something and say, 'Right, great, I've done something. I can crack on with my life.’

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Hosted by Steve Bomford and Mike Davis-Marks.
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