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Major Ken Hames is a former British Special Air Service officer, highly rated motivational speaker and specialist television presenter.
Ken is a real life action man who leads from the front. With 25 years military experience he is almost unique in having served in the Parachute Brigade, the Royal Marines and the Special Air Service. Ken’s operational experience is vast, ranging from guarding Nazi war criminal Rudolph Hesse in Spandau Prison to the liberation of Port Stanley in the Falklands.
Following his military career, Ken has created and presented many television documentaries with a unique slant. The first documentary was a television series, called The Trek broadcast by Meridian. In 1994, with the help of Diana, Princess of Wales, he took twelve disadvantaged youngsters to the heart of Africa on a 500-mile trek over desert and mountainous terrain. The process transformed their lives and he still monitors their progress.
Ken created and presented the series Mission Africa for BBC One where he took a group of apprentice builders from the UK to Kenya. Their mission was to build the first eco lodge and game reserve to protect the endangered species, working closely with the Born Free Foundation. This was then handed over to the local Samburu tribe as a sustainable business that also protects the wildlife.
In 2002 Ken’s first series for Channel 4 was the award winning Jungle Janes, where his challenge was to turn a group of British women, without any expedition experience, into a cohesive team fit to take on the gruelling jungles of Borneo. It was enjoyed by millions who found the journey an inspiration. Desert Darlings, also for Channel 4, saw Ken take couples across the Namib Desert, placing their sometimes fragile relationships under the extreme pressures of an expedition.
He created and was the expedition leader on the ground-breaking Beyond Boundaries series for BBC Two. Each of the reality series follows a team of physically disabled adventurers as they take on seemingly impossible expeditions with life changing results. Broadcast in 2005 Beyond Boundaries: Nicaragua saw 7 of the 11 participants complete the challenge of trekking across 220 miles from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean in 28 days. This was followed up with Beyond Boundaries: The African Challenge broadcast in 2006 and a third successful series Across the Andes: Beyond Boundaries was broadcast two years later. In 2009 Ken took the opportunity to revisit team members and see how the expeditions had affected them in Beyond Boundaries – Where Are They Now?.
When not trekking or surviving Ken can be seen on programmes such as Ex Forces and Homeless (BBC One), Greatest SAS Missions (Five), Bring it On (CBBC), Hero Factor (Discovery Channel), Battle Stripes (Sky), Future Fighting Machines, Shattered (Channel 4) and Celebrity Fit Club (ITV). Ken was also involved from the earliest of stages in the design and development of ITV’s I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.
He is an accomplished Mountain Guide and skier who represented Great Britain in cross-country skiing. He played rugby for the Combined Services, is an expert in all survival disciplines and is a keen amateur opera singer.
A powerful and charismatic speaker, Ken’s experiences in the cutting edge of the military and at the forefront of some of history’s most significant expeditions combine with those in the business arena to provide a fascinating insight into pressure, survival, teamwork, leadership and motivation.
“Your speech was an inspiration to our audience. You have given IGF members a renewed sense of motivation and desire to succeed.”
Paul Foulkes, Director of Global Financing IBM
“Ken Hames is the master practitioner in the field of motivation. He has the unique ability to inspire other to seek personal transformation and high achievement.”
Diana, Princess of Wales
“In his leadership master class Ken gave my senior managers a renewed sense of purpose and direction. He is current, credible and inspirational and is particularly adept at getting results in a short timeframe. I continue to use him to keep my leaders at the cutting edge.”
Robert Ford, CIO EMEA Microsoft Corporation
“Ken inspired us all with his motivational conference programme and leadership master class. We are looking forward to the next phase in our business development programme.”
Simon Curry, Director BT UK
“Wherever Ken goes the atmosphere changes significantly. He is able to get results and does this with credibility as someone who is still out there ‘doing it’ so to speak. He has a unique understanding of the pressures facing business today and delivers solutions that will help managers do better.”
Jerry Hagan, Director GlaxoSmithKline
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