Star Ben Fogle facing £2m challenge to buy Castaway island

Presenter Ben Fogle has set himself a new challenge – buying the remote island of Taransay where his television career first began.

The Castaway island in the Outer Hebrides has been put up for sale with a price tag of at least £2m, but the show’s star fears it could fall into the wrong hands.

Fogle, 38, said: “I owe my whole career to the island.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He now plans to protect Taransay’s natural environment, and is considering creating a wildlife reserve and marine sanctuary.

“I don’t want to get hold of an island as a trophy,” he said. “I want to preserve it and save it.”

The BBC’s Castaway programme was one of the first reality shows when it aired 11 years ago.

Fogle became a household name when he roamed the rugged isle accompanied by his dog Inca.

“I was last there last August for the 10th anniversary, and the island was looking in need of some TLC and quite a lot of work.”

The presenter said he spoke to the current owner, who told him it was becoming more difficult to keep the island cost-effective.

Since he found out on Wednesday about the sale of the 3,445 acre Hebridean wilderness, which comprises two islands connected by a peninsula, he has been seeking advice from friends and potential backers.

He said: “I’ve had the last two days to work out what I could do and how I could do it.

“What I’m doing now is trying to put together a team of experts and investors who can help me. I’m rather out of my depth.”

The celebrity, who has been using his Twitter page to raise awareness about his ambition, said: “What has been astonishing is the response we’ve had.”

So far he has been promised £250,000 from people all around the world, and he is prepared to stump up some of the cash himself.

“I will be willing to come up with as much money as I need to.”

But Fogle, whose wife Marina gave birth to their second child last week, added: “I’m not going to be remortgaging the house, but I have been working hard and I’ve got money to invest.”