Jeremy Wade, the daredevil presenter of TV show River Monsters, says his most terrifying encounters have been with deadly electric eels in the Amazon.

Wade told VIBE about his unusual life, which started out with the present of a fishing rod, before his forthcoming talk in Leatherhead - a town where he very nearly went to school.

The globetrotter usually takes on scary-looking monsters with huge teeth, like man-sized sized piranhas and nine-foot river sharks, but he remains more scared of an eel which delivers electric shocks.

Wade says: "It has teeth, but only small teeth, and it’s not very muscular. It looks a bit like a snake. It connects to something quite deep-rooted in all of us.

"If you get too close, it shocks and paralyses you. If you fall face down in the water you are going to die." At Leatherhead Theatre, Wade will dicuss how the TV show started and what happens during filming as well as showing clips from the show and answering questions.

He says: "I started fishing when I was very young. Nobody in my family fished but I was given a present of a fishing rod because we had a river in the village."

At the age of 13, he says: "I very nearly went to school in Leatherhead, at St John’s, but didn’t. I was all set to go there but in the end I went somewhere else." As he grew up his passion for fishing grew stronger. Then one day he came across a magazine about fishing in India which stuck in his mind.

A couple of years later he boarded a plane, with his fishing rod, and set off for India. He says: "In the middle of getting ill and losing weight I managed to catch some fish there."

He spent years travelling the globe and fishing in far-flung places like the Amazon. He adds: "It wasn’t with a huge amount of focus. When the TV opportunity came up it was like I had done 25 years of research for it."

River Monsters Face-to-Face with Jeremy Wade; Leatherhead Theatre, Church Street, Leatherhead; Saturday, March 8; 7.30pm; adult £18, concessions, £12;; 01372 365141