Adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes has told Daybreak that it took four years to get a permit to go to the Antarctic in the winter.
He said: "The Foreign Office don't let British subjects down there because there are no rescue facilities on an area bigger than China and India put together
"So if you need rescue you just don't get rescued."
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The decision was met with outrage and anger by UK cities which were on the shortlist for the prestigious award.