I’ve posted some stories recently regarding Bear Grylls paragliding record and whether or not he actually flew higher than Everest. (We’ll leave the “over” Everest part out of the debate) Those posts have spurred a number of comments about Bear and his “made for TV” exploits, with several regular readers questioning some of the things the guy has done, and comparing what he does on his TV show Man vs. Wild to what Les Stroud does on Survivor Man.
Well, it seems we’re not alone in questioning the guy. The London Times has posted this article which alleges that Bear took time off when not filming to stay in hotels and enjoyed such creature comforts as television and the Internet. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, as the article goes on to detail how things have been made a little easier for Bear in several of the programs, such the one where he was seen lassoing a “wild” horse, that was in fact a domesticated one left there for him.
Invariably, Bear and Les, and their two respective shows, have been compared to one another, but their approaches couldn’t be more different. Bear takes a camera crew along with him on his outings, so he is never really alone, and he often does things that no normal person, stranded out in the wild should, or even could do. On the other hand, Les is dropped into the middle of nowhere completely by himself and has to carry his cameras along with him as he goes. He also tends to be more practical in his approach to survival.
The article notes that BBC Channel 4 has launched an investigation into the reports that the show has “deceived the public” in any way. Personally, I’ve defended Bear on a number of occasions because of his adventures that are well documented. The man climbed Everest at the age of 23, just two years after breaking his back. He’s also a former SAS agent and has rowed across the Atlantic, and has explored the poles. He truly does have some impressive credentials. But the show has always had some questions surrounding it about what happened off camera, and what was edited for TV.
More fuel for the Bear vs. Les fan wars on the Internet I suppose.
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