I stumbled into television more than 20 years ago. It has allowed me to visit places and talk to more people than I might otherwise have dreamed. Having seen so much of the British Isles, I long ago fell in love with the whole place. I have had the privilege of hearing countless stories from all sorts of people, about every subject under the sun.
I’m nosey about people. I want to listen to them, talk to them, and understand why they do the things they do. Journalism appeals to me because it allows me to talk to people who are here now. Archaeology appeals to me because it provides the tools for digging into the lives of people that are no longer here.
If you fall in love with a person, you want to know all about them – the good and bad, happy and sad, triumphs and disasters. That’s how it is for me with Great Britain. The oldest human footprints we know about here in Great Britain were pressed into the mud of what is now Norfolk around a million years ago.
There are more stories here about more people than anyone could hope to unearth in a million lifetimes. People fascinate me. Great Britain fascinates me. Whenever I am fascinated about a place, or a person, all I want to do is tell someone all about it.
More from Neil Oliver:
Outside of politics, tell us what matters to you?
I don't care about politicians at all. Like Billy Connolly I believe the spoken desire to be a politician should bar a person, for life, from ever being allowed to be one.
I have valued the kind of life that has been possible in Great Britain during my lifetime, and the lifetime of my parents. I care about freedom of speech, and about the freedom of a person to pursue their dreams unencumbered by the nonsense of here-today-gone-tomorrow politicians.
What are you most proud of yourself for?
I stand up for myself and tell the truth. I won't be shut down, silenced or cancelled. I will not keep quiet in order to have a quiet life. I believe, absolutely, in the notion that all that is required for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.
What advice (if any) would you give your younger self?
Don't get your hair cut.
What makes Great Britain great?
Great Britain, like every other country, is a dream. There is no such place - unless enough of us say there is. If the day comes when too many people cease to believe in Great Britain, then it's over. It’s a book full of stories and characters, dramas, adventures, light and dark. I love the depth, the great whirling, mystifying, mesmerising, shocking, thrilling story of it all.
Why is debate and balanced argument important to you?
Truth is the fundamental bedrock of everything that is of value in our civilisation. Without truth there is nothing worth saving. It is by talking to each other - sharing views and arguing and agreeing that we come to an understanding of what is right and best.
What makes you, you?
My wife knows me very well and everything she says to me reminds who I really am. However long I get to be with my wife will never be enough.
The best and worst advice you’ve ever been given?
You never know who you're standing next to in the pub, so mind what you say out loud.
Why have you decided to join the GB News family?
Journalism is in a parlous state in the world as a whole. What I see and hear on TV and what I read in the papers is mostly falling well short of what I believe the trade of journalism is all about. The advent of GB News feels like someone opening a window to let in the fresh air.
Do you have a stand-out moment in your career that has impacted on you?
I was part of a seven-man crew that sailed a 50-ft yacht from the Falkland Islands to Antarctica. We were a month alone across the Southern Ocean - too far from help if anything had gone wrong. I made some life long friends on that yacht. We talk about the trip a lot.
Most people will be familiar with your work, but tell us something that nobody knows about you?
I'm confident in saying very few people know I wrote a novel called 'Master of Shadows' - all about the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
How would your family describe you?
Name somebody that you have always wanted to interview? Or debate with? And why?
The Buddha, Lao-Tzu, Jesus Christ and Muhammad. I want to know what it's all about and they seemed to have some ideas, at least.