He has a zany, off-the-wall lecture style.
Climber Andy Kirkpatrick is definitely the man who puts the comedy into adventure public speaking.
His talk at Keswick Mountain Festival on an expedition to Ulvetanna Peak in Antartica with a crew of insane and inept Sandinavian base jumpers was, for me, super funny.
And I found his approach really refreshing.
I’ve seen high-profile outdoor celebs speak at events across the country.
But sometimes the talks are dry and geeky – a bit like when your uncle insists on showing the whole family a slideshow of his canal boating holiday snaps.
I want a bit more charisma and charm and character from my adventurer – not a series of all-too-similar photographs accompanied with an uninspired narrative.
Andy was exactly what I was looking for.
His talk was entertaining, captivating and – most of all – hilarious from start to finish.
Billing himself as the warm-up act for Leo Houlding, the gags started flowing from the off – and soon his wacky humour had him joking about fancying Ray Mears and how to fatten up for an epic adventure
“If you twist your head and it takes a second or two for your face to catch up – that’s when you know you’re fat enough for an expedition.”
He was reducing the audience to fits of out-loud laughter and the atmosphere was lively and fun.
But it wasn’t all silly jokes and off-the-cuff anecdotes.
He combined the humour with a gripping account of his quest to summit the 2,930-metre peak in Queen Maud Land.
The analysis of strained relationships between expedition members was honest and insightful while tales of near-fatal mistakes added real drama.
Sheer optimism got the motley crew through and – despite personality clashes galore – they pulled together and conquered the sharp peak as a team.
This ending was endearing and I left with Andy’s summary ringing in my ear.
Expeditions are not about being the best or the fastest or the coolest – the real goal is to show the most humanity.