Jack Randall on How Nat Geo Wild's 'Out There' Helps Viewers Get Over Their Fears
Here's a sentence you don't hear every day: "This massive anaconda bit me on my hand." Then again, you're not always talking with zoologist Jack Randall, who's amassed enough experience in the field to star in his own animal adventure series Out There With Jack Randall.
The 30-year-old British native and Steve Irwin protégé — already familiar to fans of his Nat Geo Kids series Fearless Adventures — is recalling a bad infection that once forced him to leave South America to receive treatment at a Miami hospital. "I always find it funny because I had to explain it to my insurance company: 'I got bitten by an anaconda in southern Venezuela,'" he says. "It puts up the premium."
We hope the man who, as a teen, spent his school holidays learning to handle snakes and crocodiles from Irwin at the Australia Zoo still has decent coverage. Now, he hangs out with his beloved anacondas, as well as pythons, spiders, wild horses and deadly crocs, as he travels the world to give viewers the chance to learn about wildlife up close.
His Irwin-like confidence and passion for animals results in snakes and tarantulas crawling up his face like they're puppies delivering wet kisses. His enthusiasm for even the most slithery of creatures is infectious. In fact, he insists anyone can be taught to conquer the heebie-jeebies.
"I can guarantee I'll get you over your fear of spiders and snakes very quickly," he promises. "Not to the point where you're grabbing wild snakes, but to the stage where you're comfortable around a snake and in awe. It's quite an out-of-the-world experience."
In the premiere of the six-part Out There, Randall treks to a remote area Down Under to locate an elusive serpent, nicknamed the ghost python, that he believes his late hero Irwin never got to see in the wild.
"It gives me goose bumps. I think Steve would have been proud [that] I'm telling the story in the right light and showing how amazing these animals are," he says. "It's really special to be able to do what I'm doing, in a way that I think Steve would be doing right now as well."
Out There With Jack Randall, Series Premiere, Sunday, July 7, 10/9c, Nat Geo Wild