British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes is set to retrace the steps of his 1971 pioneering expedition through the Canadian wilderness for a new National Geographic TV series alongside his cousin, actor Joseph Fiennes.

The two-part documentary titled Fiennes: Return To The Wild is billed as a “heartfelt love letter from Joseph to Sir Ranulph”, which will also see the 80-year-old explorer discuss his recent Parkinson’s diagnosis.

The show will address themes of male ageing, frailty, and love, while offering a “blend of adventure, resilience, and familial bonds”.

EE British Academy Film Awards 2019 – Press Room – London
Joseph Fiennes will star alongside his cousin in the two-part series (Ian West/PA)

“Embarking on this adventure with Ran has been a profound journey of rediscovery and connection for me,” Joseph, who scored an Olivier Award nod for his role as Gareth Southgate in Dear England, said.

“It’s not just about conquering physical challenges; it’s about rekindling the bonds of family and embracing life’s unpredictable twists.

“I invite everyone to join us on this remarkable expedition, where we explore the depths of friendship, resilience, and the beauty of shared experiences.”

Among his achievements, Sir Ranulph became the first person to circumnavigate the globe from pole to pole by only surface means and the first to completely cross Antarctica on foot.

He also climbed to the summit of Mount Everest in 2009 at the age of 65, making him the oldest British person to do so at the time.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Sir Ranulph Fiennes during a trek to Mount Everest (Marie Curie/PA)

The series promises an “intimate glimpse into Sir Ranulph’s remarkable life”, and will feature rare archive footage of his past expeditions.

“Completing this journey with Joseph and exploring the beautiful Canadian scenery has been more than just an adventure; it’s been a reunion of hearts and spirits,” Sir Ranulph said.

“Together, we’ve rediscovered the strength of our bond and the power of shared experiences.

“Retracing the route of my 1971 adventure has been immensely fulfilling, made even more enjoyable by experiencing it with a family member.

“This has been a truly unforgettable journey for me.”

Sir Ranulph and Joseph Fiennes
Sir Ranulph and Joseph Fiennes (National Geographic/PA)

It is not the first time the cousins have teamed up for a TV adventure.

The pair, who had only met each other on a handful of occasions, became properly acquainted when filming a three-part National Geographic documentary titled Fiennes: Return To The Nile.

The series, released in February 2019, saw the pair charting the course of an expedition Sir Ranulph made along the river Nile in 1969 – which is said to have fostered “a deep bond that laid the groundwork for their latest endeavour”.

Fiennes: Return To The Wild premieres exclusively on National Geographic on May 26 at 8pm.