A quick chat with Wild at Heart’s Cal Macaninch

Wild at Heart star Cal Macaninch talks about the birth of his second daughter in the African bush and how he and his family have adapted to their new home…

So why do you love thunderstorms so much?

“My new baby daughter was born in the midst of an African storm. It’s amazing, she’s beautifully calm. It was a very happy experience, we couldn’t have wished for a better birth. We were at home [Cal and the rest of the cast all live near the set in a village on the edge of a beautiful dam called Hartbeespoort] with a wonderful midwife, in a birthing pool. The labour was three hours with no drugs – it was great.”

Is that why you chose a special name (Cal and his wife already have a daughter Jesi-Lilas aged two)

“We decided on Ava-Red and then Amahle, which means beautiful in Zulu, so her name is Ava-Red Amahle.”

So you are enjoying your African experience?

“With all my family with me, we feel very at home here. People say home is a place or a person, for me it is very much a person, or three people to be truthful. Jesi loves it here, there are loads of things for kids to do, she is horse riding and swimming and she adores the animals – although she did fall asleep on a game drive we went on! She knows all the animals from the film Madagascar, where the animals talk, sing and dance. It must be an odd thing for a two-year-old. She must be thinking, ‘Why isn’t that lion singing King of New York!?'”

In this week’s episode – on ITV1 on Sunday, Feb 7 – you come face to face with a lion. Was that scary?

“Yes. Our car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. There has also been a car crash with a vehicle carrying a lion, who has escaped. I get isolated from the others and end up nearly being eaten by the lion! It is extraordinary to get the chance to see these animals close up. I hope I never lose my awe of a giraffe. When I met them for the first time I was like, ‘How did you evolve!?'”

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