Joseph Fiennes and Sir Ranulph Fiennes team up for Nat Geo doc


Cousins Joseph Fiennes and Sir Ranulph Fiennes will travel to Egypt with National Geographic and visit the sites of Ranulph’s first journey down the Nile nearly 50 years ago.

National Geographic has tapped actor Joseph Fiennes and explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes to team up for a three-part documentary series, according to Deadline. In Fiennes: Return to the Nile, Ranulph will revisit the sites of one of his earliest expeditions alongside his cousin, Joseph, who is also a producer for the series.

In 1969, Ranulph journeyed from Alexandria on the Mediterranean coast to Lake Victoria, the primary source of the Nile, as part of the White Nile Hovercraft Expedition. The documentary will air in 2019, marking the 50th anniversary of the expedition.

The 74-year-old explorer has made history many times over. In 2009, after two failed attempts, he became the oldest British person to summit Mount Everest. Fiennes is also the first person to cross Antarctica entirely on foot and remains the only person to circumnavigate the Earth’s surface via the North and South Poles. In 1984, he was named the world’s greatest living explorer by Norris McWhirter, a co-founder of Guinness World Records.

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Ranulph told Deadline he is most excited to be going on the journey again with his cousin by his side.

"I am delighted to have the opportunity to re-trace the steps of my original expedition in 1969, and this time with my cousin Joe and National Geographic. I know first-hand how fascinating and exhilarating Egypt is for an explorer and I can’t wait to show Joe the ropes and to see how much Egypt has changed in the last 50 years."

Joseph Fiennes, 48, is best known for playing the titular writer in Shakespeare in Love and, more recently, Commander Fred Waterford in The Handmaid’s Tale. For his big-screen breakout, Fiennes received numerous accolades, including leading actor BAFTA and SAG Award nominations and a SAG win for Outstanding Performance by a Cast. For Handmaids, Fiennes received another SAG cast nomination and his first Emmy nod for Outstanding Supporting Actor.

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Joseph told Deadline that exploring with his cousin is a dream come true.

"I am delighted to be embarking on this adventure with National Geographic and my cousin, Ran. It is every boy’s dream to go on an expedition with the world’s great living explorer. I am delighted to be going on this journey."

Fiennes: Return to the Nile will air on National Geographic in the U.S. and also in 172 other countries. Woodcut Media is producing the series in association with The Development Partnership.