Page last updated at 08:29 GMT, Sunday, 5 October 2008 09:29 UK

Grylls' bear necessities of life

Bear Grylls
Bear Grylls wrestled and killed man-eating crocodiles

By Fiona Pryor
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

"I was showing how you can eat bear poo the other day," says British adventurer Bear Grylls.

"It's great. It can save your life if you need to eat."

This is just one of the things Grylls can be seen doing in his latest Channel 4 show, Born Survivor.

He talks about eating bear faeces with the sort of enthusiasm most people reserve for Christmas dinner.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the 34-year-old - real name Edward Grylls - says his new series is the "most extreme and full-on" so far.

Bear Grylls
Grylls admits he finds it hard being away from his family

"We've done shows from Siberia with temperatures of minus 45 degrees, to the black swamps of Indonesia, full of these man-eating crocodiles," he says.

Highlights of filming included killing an alligator with a blunt penknife, being stung by bees in Mexico and eating a viper Grylls had just killed.

It seems he is not afraid of anything.

However, the TV star admits the production team were forced to make a few changes, after the show was accused of misleading audiences last year.

Amid the scandal that saw some reality TV shows accused of editing their content to make it more exciting, a member of Grylls' film crew spoke to a newspaper.

'Malicious intentions'

The crew member revealed that, while fans saw Grylls dealing with "perilous situations" in the wild, he often spent nights in hotels and was given additional help.

I remember on one of the shows hanging off a rock face, having eaten a dodgy snake

Bear Grylls

Grylls says this year's show is far more transparent and, if he is assisted in any way, it is made clear.

"The upside of that, actually, is the more you show of that sort of behind-the-scenes thing, the more exciting it becomes," he says.

As for the crew member that spoke out, he still works with Grylls' team and the explorer won't hear anything said against him.

"He didn't have any malicious intentions and he didn't do anything wrong."

Grylls reveals he found the whole business "frustrating" but was determined not to let it ruin what he enjoys.

"I just concentrate on doing my job and then getting home. I try to stay out of the limelight and let the programme speak for itself," he says.

"I certainly never got into this game to be famous and in the papers. I do it because it's what I love."

Bear Grylls
The adventurer still gets scared and hates heights

When asked if he ever struggles with the show's myriad challenges, he replies candidly: "Of course, I'm human.

"I get scared an awful lot on the show, I struggle being sat at great heights."

Despite that, he leaves all the footage in, as he acknowledges letting viewers see him sweat makes great TV.

"I've learnt over the years that the more of a nightmare it is for me, the better viewing it makes.

"I remember on one of the shows hanging off a rock face, having eaten a dodgy snake earlier in the day.

"I had really bad diarrhoea, and I'm hanging there with one hand, trying to get my trousers down - with the cameraman hanging off the rope loving every minute of it."

Literally everything, it seems, is left in the show.

'Family life'

One can imagine that Grylls' two sons, aged two and five, will inherit his boundless enthusiasm for the outdoors.

Bear Grylls
Grylls claims he loves to bake, but is useless at DIY

But Grylls reveals he has a softer side at home - and admits there is one thing he is not good at.

"I'm pretty bad at DIY, but I love putting on the apron and baking cakes with our two young boys.

"I also enjoy getting into a cosy bed with my pyjamas on, and watching the X Factor."

Leaving his children and his pregnant wife at home is "the hardest part" of what he does for a living.

"But it's my job," he says. "It's the only thing I've ever been any good at in my life, and it's part of our family life together.

"They don't know a huge amount about it and I try to protect them a bit from seeing the show. They know it's my work, and when I get home I get on with normal life again."

Grylls apologises for 'fake' show
19 Mar 08 |  Entertainment
Grylls series 'to be transparent'
24 Jul 07 |  Entertainment
Survival show faces 'fake' claim
23 Jul 07 |  Entertainment

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific