Bear Grylls has climbed Everest, served in the SAS, and repeatedly risks his life making some of the most dangerous programmes on television.
So I put the chances of him crying on my Life Stories show – something that has become a familiar feature – at less than zero.
‘You won’t crack me,’ he joked, when we met in his dressing room before filming started. ‘They all say that,’ I replied. Bear laughed, nervously. Halfway through the interview, he began watching a home video that his sister had given us of him and his father sailing together when Bear was a young boy. His dad was the man who constantly encouraged him to ever greater heights of endeavour and achievement. But he sadly died when Bear was only 26.
As Bear watched the grainy video for the first time, he began to weep uncontrollably. He then stood up, said: ‘I’m sorry, I need a break’ and walked slowly around the silent studio floor, sobbing into his hands – as the audience sat in stunned silence. It was an extraordinary moment. In the bar afterwards, Bear said he was embarrassed. ‘I don’t know what came over me,’ he said.
‘I do,’ I replied. ‘You loved your dad and you miss him – and that’s the least embarrassing thing imaginable.’ He nodded. Bear’s made a fortune, but I suspect he’d swap it all for the chance to go sailing with his dad again. every bloody day it said “Going Down”!’ chuckled Jamie, ruefully. Andy Murray tweeted his support for Scottish independence today and all hell broke loose.
Apparently, a proud young Scot, and one of the greatest sporting talents Britain has ever produced, isn’t allowed an opinion on the biggest issue in his country’s history.
Ridiculous. I defended him on Twitter, despite never having met the guy – and then, predictably, got roundly abused myself. To my surprise, Murray sent me a private message, saying: ‘Thanks for the support. You didn’t need to do that but it’s much appreciated.’
He then added: ‘Hope the Gunners pick up three points this week!’
Arsenal, the team we both follow, did indeed pick up three points by beating Aston Villa 3- 0. But to me, the week’s real winner was Andy Murray.
By saying he wanted independence for Scotland, rather than take the easier option of saying nothing, he showed courage, strength of character and stood up for what he believes in.
That makes him a better man than the idiotic louts who troll him.