Richmond’s Arctic explorer Jan Meek – Europe’s only triple Guinness World Record Holder – will lead a team of 'Polar Maidens' to Antarctica and the South Pole this year. And she can't wait to find out what the whiskey tastes like down south.

In December, Jan will lead her own five women ‘Polar Maidens’ expedition to the South Pole, taking the 200-mile trek that Robert Scott didn’t survive in 1912.

During the gruelling challenge there is 24-hour sunlight but temperatures in December (the summer) average at a treacherous -30 Celsius.

Jan said: “My own personal challenge when we reach the South Pole is to see whether a good malt whiskey tastes as good as it did when we celebrated reaching the North Pole.

“At -63 degrees Fahrenheit it had the consistency of golden syrup and warmed every inch of me as it slid down my throat.

“Ten years after my last expedition to North Pole, my Polar Maidens expedition will be using the latest technologies to measure the physical and mental impact of extreme conditions on five ordinary but well-prepared women.

“We will also reflect on what Tom Crean would have made of us taking up the challenge.”

Tom Crean's 35 mile solo walk across the Ross Ice Shelf to save the life of Edward Evans led to him receiving the Albert Medal for Lifesaving.

Jan said: “Since I read in Scott’s diaries that this hero of Shackleton and Scott’s expedition wept when Scott asked him to return to base - completing that 200-mile journey to the pole became my goal.”

Jan grew-up in Richmond and went to what was then the Richmond and Sheen County Grammar School for Girls.

After a successful career in film and television production, she returned to Richmond after her first North Pole expedition and is still an ambassador for the Worple Road-based Victoria Foundation.

In 2008 Jan became the first woman to play cricket at the North Pole, joining an Indian Navy expedition while waiting to be flown back to base.

Jan’s expedition will raise funds for her INSPIRATIONELLE charity that provides money to encourage and support ordinary people to do extraordinary things and visit schools to inspire pupils, teachers and parents alike