MONTY Halls is both a "I wish I could do that" person and a "You would never catch me doing that" person in the same vein as Bear Grylls or Ray Mears. We see him in the great outdoors amid spectacular scenery and exciting activity, yet we also see him come face to face with the most daunting things nature has to offer such as sharks, snakes and all manner of shiver-me-timbers beasts.
Now Combe Martin Village Hall welcomes him to share his experiences and narrate these dashing tales of derring-do. Lucky guests, it is rumoured, will even get a chance to meet Reuben, his trusty hound and companion. There will also be a Q&A session and book signing.
"Without wanting to give too much away," says Monty, "the main theme is the exploration of the sea. That's the big thing that's run through my life.
"But I'll also be giving a sneak preview of the new TV series that comes out in October, including footage from it. And yes, there's a 95 per cent chance that Reuben will be there."
Of course, Reuben isn't as fundamental as Monty himself in all his exploits, and he hasn't got the capacity to give talks on such activities afterward, but his presence says as much about Monty Halls as all the brave expeditions do. At his heart, Monty does what he does because he loves Mother Nature and the creatures she gives us. And his dog is one of these creatures.
With his travels, talks and TV work on programmes such as Great Escapes and Great Ocean Adventures, Monty is a very busy man. Besides maintaining the energy required, how does he stay focussed through all his jobs?
"Two ways," says Monty. "The first is that I've reached a certain age where the work comes to me, so the hard work of chasing stuff around isn't there and I can just get on with it.
"The second is being freelance. The fear of not knowing what's coming next forces me to keep my eye on the ball; future work is never guaranteed. We all have to pay our mortgage, me included."
Motivation has never been a problem for Monty. He laughs as he recalls people asking, "How do you get into your line of work?" because, despite his job being unique ("How do you become Monty Halls?" is in effect the same question), he doesn't have a definitive answer.
Through a career in the Marines, marine biology, writing and charity work, he has simply followed his nose and picked out the most worthy endeavour at any given time. There was no master plan.
"There are no short cuts, I had years and years of earning no money at all and doing odd jobs," says Monty.
"I was always interested in biology and nature, and interestingly a lot of people in the forces are. I did a survey of which issues were important to Marines, and rather than say global terrorism or something, the hands-down winner was environmental issues. Being a Marine is all about loving the outdoors, so conservation is very important to them."
Monty's military connection is still a big part of his life and he is a patron of charity Help For Heroes, but he also supports charities such as Shark Trust and is keen to raise awareness of the plight of small-business fishermen. He encourages anyone who eats fish and cares about the sea to come to the talk, as it addresses the most pertinent issues.
"We're a maritime nation and fishermen are the last great tribe," says Monty. "The average age of these men is 47, so they're a dying breed."
On a lighter note, Monty doesn't deny that his job is great fun – even if you have to have your wits about you. His most memorable moment?
"All will be revealed in the talk," he teases. "Because I'm with experts and we research local areas, generally I'm quite safe. But there have been some hairy moments."
Guests will be treated, Monty promises, to a video of one of these moments. He lists some favourite places as South Africa and New Zealand, but is keen to praise our own island and surrounding areas. He lives in Dartmouth. For anyone interested, Monty's Great Escapes shop in the town is the perfect stop for those who love the outdoors and want to know more about the natural world.
One question then remains. What, if any, is his favourite animal?
"It would have to be cuttlefish," comes the answer. "Apart from Reuben of course."
Monty Halls: Between A Rock And A Hard Plaice will be at Combe Martin Village Hall on Wednesday, July 31, 7pm. Tickets: £10 at www.monty halls.co.uk/shop. Ten per cent of all sales will go to charity The Fishermen's Mission.
Also available from Combe Martin Museum, Cross Street, Combe Martin, 01271 889031. Cash/cheque only.
And Ilfracombe Aquarium, The Old Lifeboat House, The Pier, Ilfracombe Harbour, 01271 964533.