‘Celebs never re­alise how tough my shows are’

Sur­vival ex­pert Bear Grylls on why stars strug­gle with his dare­devil chal­lenges, and how he over­comes his fears

Closer (UK) - - Interview - By Olivia Bux­ton

His hit show Celebrity Is­land H has just re­turned to our screens for a third se­ries, with the likes of TOWIE star Pete Wicks, con­tro­ver­sial ac­tress Rox­anne Pal­lett and Span­dau Bal­let singer Martin Kemp join­ing forces to sur­vive be­ing stranded on an is­land off the coast of Panama for four weeks.

But sur­vival ex­pert Bear Grylls tells Closer that the celebrities – who also in­clude Sa­leyha Ah­san, Mon­tana Brown, James Crack­nell, An­thony Ogogo, Jo Wood and Paris Lees – weren’t equipped for the gru­elling chal­lenges, which were filmed in May. So much so that former Love Is­land con­tes­tant Mon­tana quit within days, swiftly fol­lowed by Rox­anne.

STRUG­GLE TO COPE

Speak­ing to Closer be­fore Rox­anne’s in­fa­mous CBB exit last week, Bear, 44, says, “As soon as I leave the is­land, there is no cam­era crew and it’s some­times that shock that is so hard for the celebs. I think the hard­est times for them are the ini­tial few days, and they strug­gle to cope.

“This sea­son, some really shock­ing things hap­pen and it’s the tough­est yet. It’s mega-hard this year. There is a shark at­tack in­volv­ing Pete Wicks, and Rox­anne Pal­lett has to leave the is­land... The celebs never re­alise how tough my shows ac­tu­ally are – they don’t ap­pre­ci­ate it un­til they are there.”

Over the past decade, former Royal Ma­rine Bear has es­tab­lished him­self as a TV star with hit shows here and in Amer­ica, in­clud­ing Born Sur­vivor, Bear’s Wild Week­end, The Is­land and Run­ning Wild With Bear Grylls.

He’s also de­vel­oped a strong celebrity fol­low­ing, with A-lis­ters Kate Hud­son, Courteney Cox and Kate Winslet all clam­our­ing to work with him. Even former US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama trekked across Alaska with him for Run­ning Wild.

NOT RUN­NING SCARED

Bear says, “I really en­joyed the one that I did with Obama, and it would be great to do Trump next. How do I think he would get on? Well, he is a sur­vivor, isn’t he? We have been so lucky with the celebs that we have had on the show. I love do­ing Run­ning Wild be­cause, for me, it’s all about giv­ing the celebs who take part a real sense of ad­ven­ture. They don’t need the fame or the money, they just need ex­pe­ri­ences.”

De­spite his rugged per­son­al­ity, Bear – who is mar­ried to Shara Can­nings Knight and has sons Jesse, 15, Mar­maduke, 12, and Huck­le­berry, nine – ad­mits he still has fears.

He re­veals, “I am scared of lots of things in­clud­ing heights and sharks, but I won’t let that stop me! I broke my back when I was sky-div­ing, and it’s def­i­nitely some­thing that’s hard for me. I have al­ways learned in life that the best way ‘over’ your fears is ‘through’ them, and it really is. If I run from things that are scary, then the fears grow.”

● The Bear Grylls Ad­ven­ture in Birm­ing­ham is now open. Visit Bear­gryll­sad­ven­ture.com

This year’s celeb cast­aways With wife Shara

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