NEWPORT explorer Richard Parks has returned to Wales after completing his epic trip across the South Pole.

The former Wales and Dragons star sliced just under 10 days off the existing British record for the fastest ever solo, unsupported journey to the pole when he completed the challenge on January 4.

In beating the record, he became only the 19th person to reach the pole unsupported.

He skiied for a total of 366 hours across 1,150km (715 miles) in 29 days. he said he was A few days after returning to the UK he is still absolutely exhausted.

Mr Parks, 36, told the Argus: “I’ve hit the mother of all walls. I’m just resting and spending time with my family.

“I’m so shattered I haven’t really left the house. It sounds a real cliché but it was difficult and it certainly was one of the toughest things I’ve done.

“I do feel really proud and grateful to have broken the British record. As a proud Welshman as well

I’m equally proud to be the first Welshman to record a solo expedition to the pole.”

After burning 8,000 to 10,000 calories every day – the equivalent of running two marathons - and losing 12 kg during the expedition, he said his body is still finding it difficult to cope.

He said: “I’m eating healthily but my body is just craving calories and food.

“I wake up in the middle of the night absolutely starving and eat.”

Mr Parks will use 2014 to complete a book documenting his expeditions and will star in a Channel 5 TV series which will be shown later in the year.

“I’m really excited about 2014. This year will be a great year. There’s a lot of work and I’m really excited.”

And he wanted to thank the He also paid tribute to the people behind the scenes who helped had helped him to complete the challenge, which took a year of preparation and planning.

He said: “So many people have helped me and have worked hard and played a part in this. I’m really looked forward to feeling more human and being able to talk and share this with the people who have worked hard to achieve it.

“Although I had to do the last bit on my own it’s been over a year of work and preparation in which a lot of people have played a part.”