De-constructing Daniel Ashville: National Geographic gears up for an adrenaline-fuelled journey with new engineering series

Daniel Ashville is about to challenge the world on what may seem impossible. The British national has made a name for himself as one of the giants in the construction space. Picture: National Geographic for Disney.

Daniel Ashville is about to challenge the world on what may seem impossible. The British national has made a name for himself as one of the giants in the construction space. Picture: National Geographic for Disney.

Published Aug 13, 2023


Johannesburg - Sometimes you choose your job and at other times, the job chooses you. This could not be more true for British construction expert, Daniel Ashville, who is making waves across the Americas, Europe and Africa.

The self-made engineer is about to hit screens across the world as National Geographic gears up for an adrenaline-fuelled journey, with a new engineering series like no other.

Building Impossible, with Ashville, is set to premiere at 8pm on Thursday 14th September 14 and brings ground-breaking feats of construction on the edge of possibility. Building Impossible will take viewers on an exploration of the world’s most extraordinary and precarious builds.

The six-episode series pushes the boundaries of what is considered achievable, showcasing architectural marvels that defy imagination. From the construction of the world’s largest ocean-going cruise liner, ‘Icon of the Seas’ in Finland to the ground-breaking Brenner Tunnel beneath the Alps on the Italy-Austria border, each episode highlights the skills, technology, and engineering brilliance that make these awe-inspiring builds possible.

Daniel Ashville slowly and carefully makes his way through the confined space of the South tower pylon to help pour concrete. Picture: National Geographic for Disney.

Developed and produced by Hoff Productions, the series will take viewers to Las Vegas to explore the creation of the largest spherical building in the world, the MSG Sphere. In California, Ashville and his team tackle the Intuit Dome, the future home of the LA Clippers.

The fifth episode transports viewers to South Africa, where they will witness the construction of the cable-stayed steel deck Msikaba Bridge. Finally, in the conclusion to the series, Daniel travels to Santa Clara, CA, to join the construction team on the Pathfinder 1, the world’s largest aircraft.

At the helm of Building Impossible is Ashville, a TV newcomer, with an infectious enthusiasm for all things construction. His magnetic on-screen presence draws viewers into his world of ambition and perseverance.

The former sport science student, turned engineer, said his hands-on approach sees him actively collaborating with teams tackling these engineering challenges, demonstrating that the impossible can indeed become possible.

Dozens of pre-fabricated rings sit waiting to be installed in the tunnel to reinforce the walls. Each ring is made up of the recycled materials from the drilling process. Picture: National Geographic for Disney.

“I’ve always believed that in the world of construction, there are no limits to what we can achieve. Building Impossible is a testament to the power of human ingenuity and the relentless pursuit of pushing boundaries. I’m thrilled to take viewers on this journey and demonstrate that with hard work, determination, and a touch of audacity, we can make the impossible possible. Building Impossible is not just about engineering marvels; it’s about the incredible people behind these ground-breaking projects. Their dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to excellence inspire me every day,” he said.

Ashville’s journey into the realm of construction began during his childhood, igniting an obsession that led him to abandon his sports science studies at university.

“Every rubbish truck that passed my house brought with it a curiosity for me. I always wanted to see the workings behind everything. It did get me into a lot of trouble with my mom,” he added.

This audacious decision proved to be a turning point, as he harnessed his unwavering determination and embarked on a remarkable 17-year journey. From flipping houses to establishing The Ashville Group, comprising Ashville Construction for design and build residential projects, Ashville Aggregates and Concrete for aggregates supply and waste management services, and Ashville Plant Hire for equipment and machinery hire, Daniel has cemented his position as one of the country’s top experts in his field.

“The job is not always pretty. I get dirty, I get frustrated and I post everything. There’s no take two,” he said.

In 2020, Daniel Ashville opened the doors to his captivating world through a popular YouTube channel, where he offers an intimate glimpse into his daily life. With posts amassing up to two million views, his magnetic personality and profound knowledge caught the attention of National Geographic commissioners. Recognising Daniel’s fearlessness and genuine passion, they swiftly offered him his own show: Building Impossible with Daniel Ashville.

Simon Raikes, Commissioning Editor at National Geographic, said: “Building Impossible with Ashville is an exceptional series that captures the essence of exploration and innovation that has captured our imagination from the very beginning. This series pushes the boundaries of what’s possible in engineering and showcases the remarkable achievements of human ingenuity.”

And while Ashville believes anything is possible, he does draw the line at taking on projects which may cause harm to the environment. And as for the safety aspect, Asheville remarked: “My insurance has insurance.”

The Saturday Star