Tarka L'Herpiniere & Katie Jane Cooper

After Dinner & Event Speakers (in association with SpeakOut!)

'Both Sides of the Story' is a new dual talk by Tarka, an established motivational speaker, and Katie-Jane.

This is a unique opportunity to be captivated and entertained by TWO perspectives of one of the greatest journeys along the Great Wall of China ever undertaken.

This sensationally acclaimed talk not only paints a vivid picture of their journey across China but also portrays their ordeals from opposing vantage points both as man and woman and experience versus inexperience.

In 2006 an unforeseeable sequence of events led a commercial model from Devon to forsake her makeup, acrylic nails and high heels to join her partner Tarka on an epic 4500km, 6 month and world first journey along the Great Wall of China.

Tarka L'Herpiniere, already an experienced expeditionist with Polar and Everest Expeditions under his belt, had spent the previous year training for and completing his latest World First. This time however, he had his partner Katie-Jane Cooper to contend with. With no previous outdoor experience Katie-Jane, who had been working as a commercial model, undertook a staggering lifestyle transformation leaving behind her old ways and swapping her high heels for walking boots.

They became the FIRST people to trek continually along the entire length of the Great Wall, from its most Westerly point to its most Easterly. The pair trekked over 107 consecutive marathons, over terrains ranging from the barren planes of the Gobi Desert to towering snow capped mountain passes, carrying a third of their bodyweight on their backs!

How did Katie-Jane achieve the colossal change from working as a commercial model in a world of diets and vanity, to hardened adventurer surviving blizzards, temperatures of -35C, frost bite, starvation, exhaustion and dehydration?

Some of Tarka's friends have been quoted saying they first realised that he wasn't 'normal' when he turned up on foot to a holiday gathering in the South of France, having run there from the UK because he couldn't afford the air fare.

In 1997, at the age of 16, Tarka took a bicycle out of a skip put it back together and began a 1000km journey from the UK to the South of France.

Since then, his self-drive and natural leadership qualities have led him to attempt and accomplish some of the most astonishing expeditions across the globe. In 2004 he became the second person in history to attempt to trek to both the North and South Poles solo and consecutively. Sadly the expedition ran into difficulties shortly before the poles could be reached. A year later, undeterred, he set out to join an elite group of climbers, the aim to summit the worlds highest mountain on earth without oxygen, as part of the 'Longest Climb on Earth' expedition.

Some of Tarka's Expeditions
1997 Cycled 1000km across France unsupported with a bike salvaged from the rubbish tip
1999 Ran 8 consecutive marathons in 8 consecutive days
2001 Summit Mt Aconcagua (6962m), Argentina
2002 Spitzbergen, Norway 2 month winter arctic expedition
2003 NW Alaska, 4 week winter arctic expedition
2004 North Pole and South Pole expedition, solo unsupported (did not reach Pole due to unforeseen circumstances)
2006 Summit attempt on Mt Everest, evacuated after developing HACE at 7600m
2007 Longest Continual Trek along the Great Wall of China

Tarka's experiences so far have not always been shinning examples of uncompromising success. In fact failure became his driving force for a number of years and on several occasions he has come perilously close to death during expeditions. During his Everest expedition, at more than 7km above sea level on the highest and most inhospitable mountain on earth he developed High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE). He was evacuated off the mountain with the potentially fatal condition only to find himself abandoned on an airfield in Kathmandu during a civil warwith a dead body lying next to him.

In stark contrast, Katie-Jane's up-bringing was much more conventional. After finishing university in 2003, Katie-Jane pursued a career in modeling. Katie-Jane has been involved in fashion shows for numerous household names like Marks and Spencers, TIGI and Alexander McQueen, as well as photographic shoots for clients specialising in the equestrian and country market including Ludlow of London, Oliver Brown and Sarm Hippique. She also doubled for Cameron Diaz in the recent smash hit film 'The Holiday'.

In 2006, on meeting Tarka, she was persuaded to leave the glamorous word of modeling for the demanding and sometimes life-threatening world of expeditions.

In 2007 Katie-Jane completed her first expedition alongside Tarka, and they became the first known and recognised people to complete the longest continual trek (4500km) along the entire length of the 4th wonder of the world The Great Wall of China.

This was an epic six month voyage that began under sweltering 40C heat, deep in the heart of the Gobi desert and snaked its way through the snow caped mountains of Northern China where temperatures dropped to -35C.

In February 2010 the pair will embark out on possibly the greatest journey mankind has ever undertaken on this earth.

ONE WORLD - powered by us is a 32,000km voyage around the earth's polar axis from the Geographic North Pole to the South Pole, using ONLY manpower. Five of the eight stages have NEVER before been attempted - Tarka and Katie-Jane are setting out to write a new chapter in history.

Tarka and Katie worked on the Catlin Arctic Survey led by Pen Hadow from February until April 2009. This is an international collaboration between polar explorers and some of the foremost scientific bodies to resolve key environmental issues in the bleak landscape of the North Pole. Katie and Tarka lived in a tent in temperatures of around -50 degrees C. A tad cold.

Life has certainly changed for Katie. An ex-model and former body-double for Cameron Diaz, Katie proves that you can embrace change and go on to do extraordinary things. As Katie says 'we just need to be bold enough to begin.'


For European clients, please note that Tarka is fluent in French.

Key themes
...Having the courage to change
...Staying motivated in tough times
...Setting & achieving goals achieve your potential
...Courage & conquering the fear of failure
...Co-operation in adversity

To book Tarka L'Herpiniere & Katie Jane Cooper, contact Emkay Entertainments Agency via mark@emkayentertainments.net. Alternatively, speak to a booking agent directly on 01506 855 555.


''I would like to thank you for the absolutely fantastic talk that you gave. Everyone I spoke to after the event found your story captivating and very inspirational. People have been talking about it ever since.''

Admiral Group


Please note; Emkay Entertainments act as a booking agent for any engagements for this artiste. Bookings are processed through our partner agency, SpeakOut!.

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