Man vs. Wild, also called Born Survivor: Bear Grylls, Ultimate Survival, or Survival Game, is a survival television series hosted by Bear Grylls on the Discovery Channel. In the United Kingdom, the series was originally shown on Channel 4, but later series were broadcast on Discovery Channel UK. The series is produced by British television production company Diverse Bristol. The show was first broadcast on November 10, 2006 after airing a pilot episode titled The Rockies on March 10, 2006. In a special first aired on June 2, 2009, Will Ferrell joined Grylls on a survival trip to Northern Sweden.Grylls also said he has been approached about doing a Man vs. Wild urban disaster 3-D feature film, an idea he said he would "really like to do." Ben Stiller has also signed on for an episode later in the year. Bear Grylls has signed on to showcase urban survival techniques in a new Discovery show called Worst-Case Scenario, which premiered on May 5, 2010 on the network.
Bear strands himself in popular wilderness destinations where tourists often find themselves lost or in danger. As he finds his way back to civilization, he demonstrates local survival techniques, including escaping quicksand in the Moab Desert, navigating dangerous jungle rivers in Costa Rica, crossing ravines in the Alps and surviving sharks off Hawaii.
Edward Michael "Bear" Grylls (born 7 June 1974) is an English adventurer, writer and television presenter. He is best known for his television series Man vs. Wild, known as Born Survivor in the United Kingdom. In July 2009, Grylls was appointed the youngest ever Chief Scout at the age of 35.
Grylls grew up in Donaghadee, Northern Ireland and Bembridge on the Isle of Wight. He is the son of the late Conservative party politician Sir Michael Grylls, exposed by The Guardian in the cash-for-questions affair as the "most senior and voracious Tory MP run by the lobbyist Ian Greer", and Lady Grylls (née Sarah Ford), daughter of Patricia Ford, briefly an Ulster Unionist Party MP, and cricketer and businessman Neville Ford. Grylls has one sibling—an elder sister, Lara Fawcett, a cardio-tennis coach, who gave him the nickname 'Bear' when he was a week old.
Grylls was educated at Eaton House, Ludgrove School, Eton College, where he helped start its first mountaineering club, and Birkbeck, University of London, where he graduated with a degree, obtained part-time, in Hispanic studies in 2002. From an early age, he learned to climb and sail from his father, who was a member of the prestigious Royal Yacht Squadron. As a teenager, he learned to skydive and earned a second dan black belt in Shotokan karate. He practices yoga and ninjutsu. At age eight he became a Cub Scout. He speaks English, Spanish, and French.[dead link] Grylls is a Christian, describing his faith as the "backbone" in his life.
He served three years with the Special Air Service, a special forces unit of the British army. During his service, he broke his back in three places in a parachuting accident over Southern Africa.
Although Grylls was christened 'Edward' he has legally changed his forename to 'Bear'. Grylls married Shara Grylls (née Cannings Knight) in 2000. They have three sons: Jesse, Marmaduke, and Huckleberry (born 15 January 2009 via natural childbirth on his houseboat)
After leaving school, Grylls considered joining the Indian Army and spent a few months hiking in the Himalayan mountains of Sikkim and West Bengal, Assam. He then briefly attended the University of the West of England where he was a member of the Officer Training Corps. In March 1997, he joined the British Army and after passing on his second attempt United Kingdom Special Forces Selection (where he claims he was one of four to have passed out of his group of 180), from 1994–1997, he served in the part-time United Kingdom Special Forces Reserve, with 21 Regiment Special Air Service, 21 SAS(R), as a trooper, survival instructor and Patrol Medic .
On 16 May 1998, Grylls achieved his childhood dream (an ambition since his father gave him a picture of Everest when he was eight) and entered the Guinness Book of Records, as the youngest Briton, at 23, to summit Mount Everest, just eighteen months after injuring his back. However, James Allen, an Australian/British climber who ascended Everest in 1995 with an Australian team, but who has dual citizenship, beat him to the summit at age 22. The feat has since been surpassed by Jake Meyer and, at age 19, by Rob Gauntlett.
To prepare for climbing at such high altitudes in the Himalayas, in 1997, Grylls became the youngest Briton to climb Ama Dablam, a peak described by Sir Edmund Hillary as "unclimbable". Grylls' Everest expedition involved nearly four months on the mountain's southeast face. On his first reconnaissance climb he fell into a deep crevasse and was knocked unconscious. The following weeks of acclimatisation involved climbs up and down the south face, negotiating the Khumbu Icefall (a frozen river), the Western Cwm glacier, and a 1,500-metre (5,000 ft) wall of ice called the Lhotse face, before he made the ascent with the ex-SAS soldier Neil Laughton.
Grylls filmed a four-part TV show in 2005, called Escape to the Legion, which followed Grylls and eleven other "recruits" as they took part in a shortened re-creation of the French Foreign Legion's basic desert training in the Sahara. The show was broadcast in the UK on Channel 4, and in the USA on the Military Channel. In 2008, it was repeated in the UK on the History Channel.
In some of the earlier episodes, Man vs. Wild / Born Survivor was criticized by some sources for misleading viewers about some of the situations in which Grylls finds himself. Discovery and Channel 4 television subsequently pledged production and editing transparency and clarification related to the criticism.
Grylls' latest project is titled Worst Case Scenario and airs on Discovery in the USA. It is based on the popular books of the same name.
On 17 May 2009, The Scout Association announced Grylls would be appointed Chief Scout following the end of Peter Duncan's five year term in July 2009. He was officially made Chief Scout at Gilwell 24 on 11 July 2009 in a handover event featuring Peter Duncan in front of a crowd of over 3,000 Explorer Scouts. He is the tenth person to hold the position and the youngest Chief Scout since the role was created for Robert Baden-Powell in 1920.
Many of Grylls' expeditions and stunts have raised money for charitable organisations. Grylls is an ambassador for The Prince's Trust, an organisation which provides training, financial, and practical support to young people in the United Kingdom. He is also vice president for The JoLt Trust, a small charity that takes disabled, disadvantaged, abused or neglected young people on challenging month-long expeditions.
Global Angels, a UK charity which seeks to aid children around the world, were the beneficiaries of his 2007 accomplishment of taking a powered para-glider higher than Mount Everest. Grylls's held the highest ever dinner party at 7,600 metres (25,000 ft) in aid of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme, and launched the 50th anniversary of the Awards. His successfully circumnavigating Britain on jet skis raised money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Grylls' Everest climb was in aid of SSAFA Forces Help, a British-based charitable organization set up to help former, and serving members of the British Armed Forces, and their families and dependents..
In 2011, Grylls was in New Zealand during the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. Following the incident, he appeared on New Zealand advertisements encouraging people to donate money to help rebuild the city..
Outside of TV, Grylls works as a motivational speaker, giving speeches worldwide to corporations, churches, schools, and other organizations. He is also a spokesperson for and owner of a Juice Plus franchise. Grylls has his own outdoor survival clothing range produced by British manufacturer Craghoppers as well as a knife manufactured by Gerber.