The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - YOUR TV WEEK -

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.

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