The household I grew up in... was rather like an Ovaltine advert. There was a huge fire, a kettle on the fire, the oven with the bread being baked every day, and there was the radio; it was very magical to hear all these wonderful programmes.
My father was a coal hewer from Goldthorpe, a coal-mining village in South Yorkshire. He played for the Yorkshire second team as an opening fast bowler - to me he was a gorgeously heroic man. He helped form a union and closed down the Barnsley seam because it was seeping gas, and saved many, many lives.
I had to leave school at 14 because my father got injured in the mines and I had to support my family. I was an undertaker's assistant, then a plasterer, before doing my military service in the RAF. All the while, I was doing amateur dramatics and dreaming of getting a scholarship to the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
I wasn't good at examinations, but I went to a very good secondary school - Bolton-on-Dearne - with wonderful teachers, who taught me drama and encouraged me in every way.
I've become quite a serious explorer: I've been to Everest three times; I'm the oldest man to reach the North Pole; and I've just been to the lost world of Venezuela.
My parents taught me honesty, truth, compassion, kindness and how to care for people. Also, they encouraged me to take risks, to boldly go. They taught me that the greatest danger in life is not taking the adventure.
You can't call it an adventure unless it's tinged with danger. The greatest danger in life, though, is not taking the adventure at all. To have the objective of a life of ease is death. I think we've all got to go after our own Everest.
When I was a child, I wanted to... go into space! To go to Mars. I wanted to explore and explore and explore. I wanted to go to the Lost World in South America - I was heartbroken to discover there were no dinosaurs; I still don't accept it.
I love Scotland - I was made an honorary Wallace after my work on 'Braveheart,' you know. If I have two or three days off, I love nothing more than driving up there and climbing around Glencoe.
I'm a fully trained cosmonaut and have completed 800 hours training, which has made me the No. 1 civilian reserve ready to visit the International Space Station. I am determined to go up, and I want to explore the Moon, Mars and beyond!
People talk about the difference between radio acting, TV acting and stage acting, but I think it's all the same. For instance, when I played Vultan in 'Flash Gordon,' I put as much energy into it as I would with 'King Lear' - it's all part of the same thing.
My brother Alan - who was seven years younger than me - died from leukemia when he was 52. He never knew a day's good health - I wish I could have given him some of my good health. But he was always so cheerful and sweet.
I have marvelous dreams! I meet Buddha, I meet Jesus, I meet Mohammed. I constantly dream of space, stars and planets: we are the children of stardust.
I've completed half of my space training at Space City in Moscow. I love adventure, and I've been training in a centrifuge and MiG Fighter with a view to going into space and being a spokesman for space exploration!
There will be no funeral! Before I get too old and ill, I'll go to South America and live among the Pemon people and meditate. When the time is right, they can throw my body into the volcano.