Fac­ing the wild

A hus­band-and-wife team plays the game of sur­vival in Man,Woman,Wild.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TV - By SHAMALA VELU Man,Woman,Wild

FOR most cou­ples, be­ing to­gether in the wilder­ness does won­ders to rekin­dle a ro­mance or mend a bro­ken re­la­tion­ship. But for Amer­i­can Mykel Hawke and Bri­tish Ruth Eng­land, be­ing in the wilder­ness is a game of sur­vival.

The hus­band and wife’s heroic ad­ven­tures across the globe are fea­tured on Dis­cov­ery Chan­nel’s new show Man, Woman, Wild.

In this re­al­ity doc­u­men­tary se­ries, the cou­ple trav­els to re­mote and for­bid­ding lo­ca­tions in the name of sur­vival, giv­ing view­ers a re­al­is­tic look at what re­ally takes place when you are put in the wildest of places on Earth.

The sur­vival jour­ney be­gins when the Hawkes are dropped off at a spe­cific lo­ca­tion and it can be any­where – from Mex­ico and Botswana, to The Dominican Re­pub­lic and Alaska – they must sur­vive for four days and nights, with only a knife and the clothes on their backs.

Test­ing their mar­riage and will power, they fight to sur­vive as a cou­ple against na­ture’s fury.

Al­though sur­vival comes nat­u­rally for Mykel, 45, who has years of mil­i­tary train­ing as a Green Beret, the wild is a new and dan­ger­ous place for Ruth, 40.

From build­ing shel­ters to hunt­ing for food to find­ing a suit­able res­cue route, Mykel teaches his wife the nec­es­sary skills needed to sur­vive in dif­fer­ent ter­rains. So, how did they end up do­ing a show like this? In a phone in­ter­view from the United States re­cently, Mykel says: “I’ve been in the mil­i­tary for over 25 years and just re­cently re­tired. I’ve been to about eight war zones and my main in­ter­est has al­ways been sur­vival and learn­ing from dif­fer­ent cul­tures”.

Soon, Mykel found him­self teach­ing his pas­sion – sur­vival skills – to cou­ples and fam­i­lies.

Ruth, on the other hand, is a TV jour­nal­ist who is ea­ger to learn about sur­vival skills. Need­less to say, the cou­ple made an ideal team for the show.

The first thing that strikes you about Mykel and Ruth is their great great chem­istry and play­ful sense of hu­mour.

Al­though both have dif­fer­ent ver­sions of how they ac­tu­ally fell in love and got mar­ried, they agree that they first met in Ja­maica be­fore set­tling down and em­bark­ing on their treach­er­ous trail into the wilder­ness.

Most view­ers will be able to re­late to Ruth as she has to deal with the hard­ships of sur­viv­ing in the wild. She shows courage dur­ing dif­fi­cult times and this gives view­ers a much more re­al­is­tic idea of what it would be like to be in the same sit­u­a­tion as her.

Un­like other sur­vival shows that fo­cus on rel­e­vant sur­vival skills, this one gives view­ers an idea of what it

Mykel Hawke and his wife Ruth take on some of the most for­bid­ding and re­mote lo­ca­tions in Dis­cov­ery Chan­nel’s might be like hav­ing to get through a sit­u­a­tion not only by your­self, but with your wife in tow.

Ac­cord­ing to Ruth, the show ap­peals to the masses be­cause there is a need to learn sur­vival skills these days.

Ruth thinks that the In­ter­net and the pro­lif­er­a­tion of me­dia have af­fected our sense of in­se­cu­rity.

“Now we know about ev­ery flood and ev­ery earth­quake. I think peo­ple are learn­ing that they might have to one day look af­ter them­selves and their fam­ily.” So, has the show made them closer as a cou­ple? “Def­i­nitely,” says Mykel. “The hard­est thing in the world to do is sur­vival and it’s re­ally dif­fi­cult to do it with some­one you care about. Not only be­cause they see your weak­nesses. You see each other suf­fer and it goes both ways for Ruth and I”.

Ruth adds that there were times she would worry about Mykel when he goes hunt­ing in the jun­gle.

“I would be very scared and won­der if would ever come back,” she says.

And like any cou­ple, Mykel and Ruth fight and ar­gue al­most ev­ery day. But Mykel puts it in a pos­i­tive way: “I be­lieve a strong man needs a strong woman and Ruth is an amaz­ingly strong woman with her own opin­ions.” n airs ev­ery Tues­day on Dis­cov­ery Chan­nel (Astro Chan­nel 551) at 10pm. Re­peats are on Wed­nes­days (10am) and Satur­days (3pm and 8pm).

Fight to sur­vive:


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