Alexander Armstrong on what he refused to do for Channel 5 Iceland show ‘I drew the line

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TV presenter Alexander Armstrong has opened up on what he “drew the line” on doing, during his self-titled Channel 5 series. Reflecting on his time filming Iceland with Alexander Armstrong, the radio host, 51, explained how he flew to the Nordic country to film the series as it was one of the only countries on the green list, before going into detail on what he refused to do while visiting one of the country’s many islands.

I drew the line there

Alexander Armstrong

The programme sees him venture across the country to learn more about its scenery and the people who live there, exploring different parts of the island.

Speaking about his time on the island of Heimaey, Alex gushed over its beauty, adding that its landscape is “even more staggering than the rest of the country’s”.

The star revealed that the natives relish the traditional local delicacy of puffins, which are eaten on the island when in season.

However, Alex revealed that he drew the line at sampling a bit of the bird himself.

Speaking about turning down an offer to try the delicacy, Alex admitted that he was willing to try other animals, but explained how puffins were sentimental to him.

He said: “I drew the line there, though: rotten shark and sheep’s eyes, yes; puffins, no.”

The friendly bird is served either in broiled lumps to resemble liver, or smoked, to taste like pastrami.

Alex went on: “I’m attached to them, you see, because we used to get lots where I grew up in Northumberland, and I loved them.

“Also they have sad, Maggie Philbin eyes,” he said, referencing the British actress.

In his series, Alex also visited the north of the island Husavik where he sampled rotten shark meat.

Describing the unique experience, the star described the way the locals purged the flesh of its poisonous qualities.

He said: “They bury it to let it rot for a while and get rid of some of its poisonous ammonia, but still… the taste of it!

“It comes on in three hits: first, faintly fishy; second, slightly Stiltony; then third, pure ammonia – urine, basically.

“It just tastes like old tramp wee,” Alex clarified to the Radio Times.

The star claimed that the locals drown out the flavour with a drink known as “Black Death”, before admitting that the shark “doesn’t taste much better” even with the beverage.

Alex also visited active volcano Fagradalsfjall by helicopter, which has been spewing lava since March.

Elsewhere, the Pointless star spoke out on the “demands” that are made of him and his co-host Richard Osman while they front the BBC show.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, the star candidly addressed his and Richard’s friendship, revealing that they have “never had a cross word with each other”, despite their “high pressured work”.

Alex said: “The turn-arounds are very quick and there are quite a lot of demands on us, we’ve got to be on the balls of our feet, and yet we don’t rub each other up the wrong way.

“We get on perfectly well,” the star insisted.

Iceland with Alexander Armstrong continues this evening at 9pm on Channel 5.

Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times – out now.

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