The three-man team, which includes fellow staff member Jake Thompson and a marine commander, are the only British group attempting to reach the pole this year, but their challenge didn’t get off to the best start.

Delayed for a couple of days towards the end of last week, the ice at their base camp was too thin for their plane to land.

Updating the Herald from the arctic circle, Steve said: “This trip is totally unaided and once we land and set off, we are on our own.

“We'll have no way of charging batteries, nowhere to take shelter if it gets too cold, and we'll have no-one else to rely on than each other. It's a real adventure. And now we've lost a day, we only have nine days to walk, ski and sledge 60 miles to the pole.”

The team lost another day on Monday when retired doctor Phil had to be rescued half-way through the trek.

The frostbite scare has hit home how hard the challenge is. Steve said both him and Jake were tired but enthusiastic to continue.

The ice at base camp was initially too thin for Steve and Jake's plane to land.