When a suspected arson fire in an insane tiger park In Oklahoma destroyed all of his footage, reality producer Rick Kirkman escaped to Norway. According to Variety, he’s making lots of reindeer stew and working on a documentary ‘about a man with an exciting double life’. Read more about the Tiger King producer who escaped to Norway.
New York Magazine reported that his house in Texas caught on fire in the middle of the night and nearly killed him 6 months later. You may have seen Rick Kirkman wearing his wide-brim hat in Netflix’s original production of Tiger King.
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Rick Kirkman (61) moved to Bodø, Norway two years ago and married his Norwegian girlfriend after a long career as a reporter and TV producer in the USA.
Began as a crime reporter in Las Vegas
Kirkman began his career in the television industry in the 1980s, first as a crime reporter in Las Vegas and then as a reporter for the CBS program “Inside Edition”. He became known for his so-called “participatory journalism”. For example, he participated in boxing matches against professional boxers, he has been wrestling a nine-foot alligator and has been shot out of a cannon.
Later, Kirkham moved onto Exotic’s Greater Wynnewood Zoo property to film a reality show about Joe Exotic. The deal was to boost the production value of Exotic’s somewhat unhinged web series. He stayed at Joe’s zoo in Oklahoma for almost one year. After the fire, he immediately left and had a nervous breakdown.
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A turbulent life
We may never know all of what Kirkham caught on tape, but he has quite the story of his own. His filmed diaries form the basis of the 2006 documentary “TV Junkie” is all about Rick Kirkman’s turbulent life. It was edited by directors Michael Cain and Matt Radecki and received the jury’s special award during the Sundance Festival that year.
In Netflix’s production Tiger King, there is a scene where Kirkham is interviewed sitting at a coffee table sipping on a cup of coffee. That scene is recorded at the Valkyrien restaurant in Oslo (photo below).
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Tiger King Producer Escaped to Norway
In 2018, he married his girlfriend, teacher Kristin Elisabeth Rosøy, and tore to pieces his return ticket back to the United States. They met after she emailed him after watching “TV Junkie”.
Kirkham now lives in Norway with his wife where he works as a freelance reporter for the local newspaper Bodø Nu. From time to time he also teaches Norwegian students of journalism.
«Rick is a fascinating person who has experienced the most incredible things. Now he has become a Bodø super patriot. He also makes a classic pickle that he often presents as Christmas presents to friends and acquaintances,” says creative director Rune Nilsen in Bodø nu, who shot our feature image.
Tiger King Producer Escaped To Norway, written by Tor Kjolberg
Daily Scandinavian thanks Rune Nilsen, creative director at Bodø Nu for permission to use his photo of Rick Kirkman as feature image (on top).