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The Beard Shed interview with Sean Conway


Celebrity beard, Sean Conway

 

The best thing for me about having a beard is that I am as far away from my old corporate life as possible.

Sean Conway - on why its great having a beard

 

Sean tell us about the man behind the beard, what are you best known for?

I guess I am best known for the first person to have swum the length of Britain. From lands end to John O'Groats. No one had even attempted it before and no one has attempted it since. Although I keep trying to help convince people someone should. I also once climbed Kilimanjaro dressed as a penguin which apparently no one has done before either, that was also quite hard.

 

Staying on topic of the beard, when did you start growing your facial fur?

I started growing my beard on 12 December 2013. I initially grew it to shield myself from jellyfish while swimming the length of Britain but shaved it off to raise money for Children In Need. Although I've had it for three years now I have trimmed it regularly but every time I feel like a trim I go to Shoreditch in London and see all the hipsters with bigger beards than me and then decide not to trim it as much.

 

Your adventures take you to some extreme places, do you have any special beard care tips for keeping your beard at its best whilst in severe hot and cold climates?

Truthfully I am really bad at looking after my beard. I often go for weeks without washing it (during adventures) only to discover some crisps in there that are at least four days old. But to be honest I don't really look after the rest of my body either and usually only travel with half a toothbrush, to save weight, and a small tube of toothpaste and maybe as a luxury I'll take some deodorant. But other than that I wouldn’t really take anything when I go off adventuring.

 

Celebrity beard, Sean Conway

 

Every time I feel like a trim I go to Shoreditch in London and see all the hipsters with bigger beard than me and then decide not to trim it as much.

Sean Conway - the hipster beard way

 

When did you last cut your beard?

I last had my beard trimmed by cutthroat Pete on Channel 5’s Saturday breakfast show. He also styled it into a Viking type beard which was quite fun. I've never done that before. Again I should probably try and learn how to trim my beard properly because whenever I do it still looks messy, only shorter. If you’re going to have a messy beard you might as well just keep it long.

  

What's the best thing about having a beard?

The best thing for me about having a beard is that I am as far away from my old corporate life as possible. When I wake up in the morning and look at myself, I'm a different person visually and that reminds me not to make the same mistakes I made all those years ago in my old life.

 

What's the worst thing about having a beard?

The worst thing about beards is getting stuff stuck in it. Especially when you're eating soup or cereal, you bend over the bowl and in the bottom of the beard sometimes falls into the bowl. It's not a very good look if I'm honest.

 

What's in store for Sean, tell us about your next big adventure

I have many many big adventures in the pipeline that you're going to have to watch this space for because they are all very top-secret.

 

You have encountered many adventures and no doubt been to some amazing places, what's been your most memorable?

I love deserts. I love the harshness of being out in the middle of nowhere with nothing around you. Places like the Atacama, the Kalahari, the Sahara. All these places make you really step up your game and when you eventually get out the other side alive, you feel so much more confidence in your ability to go forward. The only downside is being ginger and deserts don’t go well together.

 

Beardsmen often face incessant abuse and taunts from the non-bearded members of society, and with a beard like yours I'm sure you haven't escaped the persecution. Do you have any one line comebacks when facing such beard abuse?

I used to get quite a lot of attention walking down the street a few years ago, things like' oh look it's ginger santa'. or 'where is the pot of gold mate’. But truthfully now if anything I only get compliments mainly from people with slightly smaller beards than mine. I'd like to think I'm flying the ginger beard flag hopefully.

Celebrity beard, Sean Conway interview

 

Keep up to date with Sean's adventures by following him on his Twitter and Facebook