Richard Madeley talks about his new ITV1 series All at Sea, travelling the coast of Britain in various vessels

How do you feel about appearing without Judy?
“Judy and I felt like we’d done it all. I’m very happy flying solo again, but she’s still there when I get home – we haven’t got divorced!”

What attracted you to this celebrity travelogue series?
“I’m 53 and I’ve still got quite a lot of energy and work ethic in me. Now I can say no to most offers, but yes to the ones I think I’ll have fun with like Question Time and Who Do You Think You Are? All the things that for 20 years I’ve had to say, ‘I’d love to but I can’t, I’m too busy.'”

What was the whole experience like?
“It’s like an Enid Blyton adventure. Quite often we’d go up amazing creeks and channels that you can’t really see from the land. It made the French Riviera look tatty.”

Was it demanding?
“In the second week we were on a great big sailing brig like the Black Pearl from Pirates of the Caribbean. We had to learn how to get the sails up and it was the hardest thing physically I’ve ever had to do.”

What was your favourite thing about the trip?
“The solitude. Something about being at sea is timeless and poetic. Once you’ve done all the work you need to do your thoughts turn inwards and you can get quite philosophical.”

Were there any scary moments?
“We had one very bad day when we nearly capsized. I was hanging onto some struts, thinking we were going to have to jump for it. It was terrifying! In those moments you think I really don’t want to give up my life for ITV1 – there have to be better causes!”