YOU know things are bad when you eat your dog.

Adventurer and TV explorer Benedict Allen has been in countless life and death scrapes, but this one has stayed with him.

“I had to eat my dog on my first expedition. I was only 22 and I came across some gold miners in the Amazon and they attacked me with knives. It turns out the Amazon has a lot of criminal elements, as it’s a good place to lie low.

“I jumped into my canoe with my dog and it capsized. I lost everything and had to walk out of the forest. It took three weeks, I got two sorts of malaria and I had to decide whether to eat my dog and survive? Or do I not see my parents ever again?” says Benedict Allen, 54.

Affable and highly-articulate, Benedict will be recalling some his most exciting tales of derring-do at Bournemouth’s WestBeach restaurant on Tuesday evening. The show will be accompanied by a sumptuous five course dinner and wine, something that Benedict has to consider when giving his talk.

“”It’s a funny old thing. I’ve lived a lot of my life isolated from our society, so it gives me a different perspective on the world. I’ll be chatting in between courses about the challenges I faced. The irony being that people like to be appalled with the particular things that I’ve had to eat in the jungle. Although, the last thing I’d like to do is put them off their dinner,” added Allen.

Aside from eating dog, Benedict has had his fair share of ghoulish meals that would make a bushtucker trial from I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here look appetising.

“My most memorable meal would be the sago grub. We didn’t have time to cook them and the tribes people gave me the biggest first. It turned around in my throat and wriggled out of my mouth. I thought this was one of life’s winners and too strong to die.”

Speaking of death, Benedict has survived several attempts on his life and counts humans as a being a bigger danger than the wildlife he encounters.

“I’ve almost died nine times. These are the things that people want to hear about. I was shot at by Pablo Escobar’s people in the Amazon. He was hiding out in the jungle and I was just paddling by in my canoe and he sent two people to kill me.

“It’s one of those scenarios, where you can’t stop and ask why are you doing this? I only discovered later it was him. So I tell this story of how these two assassins came along. It turns out they were not of the top school of assassins. They struggled to paddle a canoe and kill someone at the same time, so I got away with it.”

You might be wondering how one becomes an adventurer in this day and age? For Benedict, it was a childhood dream that was inspired by the exploits of his fearless father.

“My dad was a test pilot and used to fly the Vulcan bombers. It was exciting as a little boy to see your dad tipping the wings of this bomber as he flew over. So I thought I’d become an adventurer somehow, but then I realised I didn’t have any money.

“I went to university and still wanted to be an adventurer, so I realised the only way I could do it was to go off alone and live with remote people and learn from them. So that’s how I developed this technique of immersion.”

Benedict’s big break came in the late 90’s when the BBC realised the potential of televising his death-defying escapades.

“It was a bit of luck that I became the first TV explorer. The BBC asked if I could take along one these little cameras called a camcorder. At the time it was an extraordinary thing, I was able to film everything that happened and it was incredibly exciting. I happened to be an adventurer that was around at the right time, so I was able to carry on doing authentic stuff.”

Although in recent years, parenthood and family commitments have had to take priority.

“Then came children along, slightly ruining everything! But I’m heading off again this year, now that they are five and seven and I can go away again. Doing this sort of thing is exciting because my adventures are so solitary and in a way lonely. It’s a great thing to be able to share these stories, for those people who haven’t got the chance to go away.”

: Benedict Allen appears at West Beach on Tuesday, March 3. Tables can be booked by calling 01202 587785 and Echo readers can claim a discount of two tickets for £150 (RRP £95).