*Mark Green is on top of theworld at landing his dream job - at the very bottom of the globe. The 47-year-old plumber was chosen from 2,000 applia cants to join the British Antarctic Survey on the Bunt Ice Shelf and maintain their heating, water and loos 800 miles from the South Pole.
Now he'll leave wife Anna, 42, and son Jake, 18, out in the cold back in Bristol when he flies to the remote Halley research station for 15 months on November 10.
But he has his family's full support for his "opportunity of a lifetime" and, despite expecting -50C temperatures, Mark said yesterday: "I just can't wait.
"The farthest I've been before is Spain. But when I heard of this job on the radio I knew I'd always regret it if I didn't have a go."
Apart from 10 scientists and 42 other support staff - picked from record number of credit crunch work-seekers - his closest neighbours will emperor penguins as he works on pipes in shafts up to 65ft below the two-metre snow.
But after learning survival techniques for the harsh conditions, the prospect holds no fears at all.
Well, he's even packing his saxophone. Really cool, Mark.
Cold facts of life
For more than 60 years the British Antarctic Survey has been researching the icy continent. With 400 staff and three stations there, as well as two on South Georgia, strengthened ships and an adapted aircraft are the £47.1million operation's lifeline.