Talk by explorer who went missing on expedition is postponed while he recovers from malaria

Benedict Allen. Picture: Martin Hartley/Jo Sarsby Personal Management Ltd/PA Wire

Benedict Allen. Picture: Martin Hartley/Jo Sarsby Personal Management Ltd/PA Wire - Credit: PA

An explorer's much-anticipated talk to a King's Lynn audience has been postponed as he recovers from malaria after going missing on an expedition.

Benedict Allen, who was due to speak about his experiences in King's Lynn before he went missing. Pi

Benedict Allen, who was due to speak about his experiences in King's Lynn before he went missing. Picture: Andy Butterton/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Benedict Allen was due to talk about his adventures at the Guildhall of St George, King's Lynn on Tuesday, November 21 as part of Lynn Festival's year-round series.

But the former University of East Anglia (UEA) student was reported as missing when he missed a scheduled flight home from Papua New Guinea.

He had been dropped by helicopter into a jungle three weeks ago so he could try to reach the Yaifo, a tribe thought to be one of the last on Earth to have no contact with the outside world. He had no phone or GPS tracker with him.

There were fears for his safety but he has now been found and has been evacuated from the country by helicopter.

Benedict Allen. Picture: Martin Hartley/Jo Sarsby Personal Management Ltd/PA Wire

Benedict Allen. Picture: Martin Hartley/Jo Sarsby Personal Management Ltd/PA Wire - Credit: PA

However King's Lynn Festival chairman Alison Croose said it would not be possible to hold Tuesday's event because: 'It is unclear when he will return to Britain, as he is recovering from malaria.


You may also want to watch:


'We are delighted to know that Benedict Allen is safe.

'But Lynn Festival and the Royal Geographical Society, who are jointly staging the event, agreed to cancel Tuesday's illustrated talk at St George's Guildhall, which was to be a highlight of the festival's year-round programme.

Most Read

'We plan to reschedule Benedict Allen's visit in the next few weeks and it will be an extra-special event for the audience to hear first-hand about his latest adventures.'

Those who bought tickets for Tuesday's event will be contacted and can claim refunds from the Corn Exchange box office at the Tuesday Market Place, or by calling 01553 764864.

Many people breathed a sigh of relief when Mr Allen's friend, BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner, announced the 57-year-old was 'alive and well' in a tweet.

In a statement on Friday, Mr Allen's agent Jo Sarsby said: 'We can confirm that Benedict Allen has been evacuated by helicopter and is now safe in Port Moresby.

'He is reported as feverish with suspected malaria.

'Benedict looks forward to being reunited with his family and friends but will need some time to get back to full health.

'He would like to send thanks for all the kind messages he has received.'

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter