Top survival tips from TV presenter Monty Halls

BBC TV presenter Monty Halls, who was born in Wakefield, opening Centenary House at QEGS (Queen Elizabeth Grammar School). Pictured with Wil Preston and Chester Lomas. (W509G224)

BBC TV presenter Monty Halls, who was born in Wakefield, opening Centenary House at QEGS (Queen Elizabeth Grammar School). Pictured with Wil Preston and Chester Lomas. (W509G224)

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CHILDREN learned how to build a shelter out of a parachute, make a fire, set traps, forage for food and even gut a fish when an explorer returned to Wakefield.

TV presenter and biologist Monty Halls, who was born in the city, spent a day outdoors with junior school pupils at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School (QEGS) before opening their refurbished Centenary House building.

And the boys, aged from four to seven, dressed in camouflage gear as they got to grips with the survival skills on Wednesday.

Mr Halls, 45, said: “I had a fantastic time and it is a great school which obviously is keen to develop kids all round, not just academically.

“They soon put me through my paces.

“I was born in Wakefield, but I do not think the hospital exists any more - it only had two wards.”

Mr Halls became a household name with his Great Escape television programmes, which saw him travel the country with his dog Reuben.

He has also explored the Hebrides, Ireland and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

He most recently starred in The Fisherman’s Apprentice on BBC2 and will be taking a team of divers to swim with sharks off the coast of Brazil later this year.

He has also written books and runs wildlife trips from his home in Devon.

On Wednesday he was joined by his friend Paul Mattin, who is a former Royal Marine who specialises in mountain and cold weather operations.

School head Louise Gray said: “The boys have had a truly memorable day and what has gone on in school is what being a boys’ school is all about.

“The boys gained so much knowledge by experiencing a hands on, kinaesthetic approach.”