Alasdair Kane has been called Aldo since he was a kid. He joined the Royal Marines Commandos at the age of 16 and became one of the youngest Elite Snipers. His time as a Commando Sniper took him around the globe several times, where he became an expert in Survival and Operations in all environments — jungle, desert, arctic and mountains. He spent ten years operating and fighting as a Sniper before leaving and specializing in one of his hobbies — climbing. Aldo runs a Rope Access and Safety company which provides a service to Industry and the TV and Film Industry. Recently, Aldo and his team used their skills and knowledge to become the first ever to descend all the way to the bottom of one of the most dangerous volcanoes on Earth. The BBC was able to shoot up close and person, for the first time the volcano’s magma cone. As such, Aldo Kane and his company continue to get themselves and TV crews into the most hostile environments on Earth.
We were lucky enough to ask him some questions about his time on the show and what it was like to work with Henry Cavill.
Was this the first project for you where you had to deal with celebrities in a survival situation?
We have worked with TV and Film production companies for many years, but it is only within the last three that we have been working with "celebrities" such as Henry Cavill and Tom Hardy. Our first TV job working and protecting celebrities was a production for ITV called 71 Degrees North, a celebrity challenge game show based up in Norway in 2011. The temperatures were below minus 20 and we were filming outside for nearly 6 weeks. We worked with Charlie Dimmock, Rav Wilding, Amy Williams, Angelica Bell, Nicky Clark, and Paddy McGuinness.
What was your perception of Henry Cavill before you met him? How well did your perception match up with the actual Henry?
I didn’t know of Henry before I met him, likewise with Tom Hardy and Adrien Brody. I don’t watch a lot of TV even though we work in that industry. I like to meet people with an open mind and not the opinion of other people. To that end, I got on with Henry very well when we were away in China. He is a very active guy and has similar interests as I do. When we are away on jobs, it’s important that we all pull our weight and that included Henry. He had to be treated just as we were and there was no special treatment because of who he is. I liked Henry and got on well with him.
How much training did Henry and Neil need in preparation for this trip?
The total time for Driven to Extremes to come to fruition was about two years. North One and JWT put a huge amount of effort into getting this project off the ground — I had the easy part of just making sure everyone was safe on the ground. This involved a two day training course down in London where we gave everyone the same environment specific training. Due to what Henry and Neil do for jobs, they are highly motivated and were well suited to a fairly serious expedition.
We saw Henry and Neil laughing during their car rides. Did you share any funny experiences with them?
On Driven To Extremes we operated in such small teams that there was no room for people not to get on with each other. And as it happens, we all got on very well! If it didn’t come over on the show, I can tell you that we had several laughs throughout the long hard days! When motivated people hit troubles, they power through them with determination and a sense of humour. One of the best laughs we had was running down an incredibly steep and long sand dune. In fact, it was the one that Henry is sitting on top of in the photo in this article!
Of the three shows you did, which was your favorite to participate in?
I enjoyed working in all three and that was down to firstly, the professionalism of our crew and secondly because the celebrities we had were all very normal and motivated guys. I found each one had its hard parts and its fun parts. China was particularly hard because of the extreme heat we were subjected to on a daily basis. Also, we had that sand storm which could have tuned out a whole lot worse than it did! (Editor’s Note: Aldo was instrumental in getting the team to safety during the sand storm using his survival training).
What are your upcoming projects?
Watch this space for us taking another film crew inside another live and dangerous volcano. We've done this before and it takes every ounce of strength and courage as it is incredibly dangerous. First of all though, I need to recover from a few broken bones I picked up in France last month in a skiing accident. I have another 4 weeks of light duties before I can start physio. There is no fun without risk!! You can keep up to date with my adventures on Twitter.
We want to thank Aldo for taking the time to answer our questions and for giving us some great new never-before-seen photos from Driven To Extremes! We hope you heal and recover soon from your ski accident and are back up and running again! You can follow Aldo and his adventures with the information below…