Bear Grylls: the Mother Lode...

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https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2021/feb/16/bear-grylls-tv-adventurer-interview-you-vs-wild-movie-netflix?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
 

Bear Grylls: 'There's no point getting to the summit if you're an arsehole'
 

Well, that cheered me up no end

comments section is a treat...

😁

Post edited at 13:00
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Quality - I was just about to post that.

 yelotango 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Dan Arkle:

Me too

 Stuart William 16 Feb 2021
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

I quite enjoyed “When the series launched in 2019, the Guardian’s reviewer found himself unable to feed Grylls to a crocodile, however much he tried.”

Although, controversially, I thought Bear comes across reasonably well in that interview. Certainly better than he usually does. 

 mondite 16 Feb 2021
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Looks like their mods got bored and shut it down.

In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

That's a very unusual way of coiling a rope he has there.

In reply to Stuart William:

Not sure about that. 

He returned to work last autumn, shooting in Italy. “It was miraculous that we were able to finish. We were filming in the hottest red zone of northern Italy. We were very, very cautious. We had a very small team there. Everything was shut down and we got into the mountains and did it.”

His reflex to exaggerate the risks of everything he does is normally just a source of light hearted fun- but when it implies that he was happy to expose his colleagues to coronavirus, and potentially have them spread it to their families on return, it comes across as crass, at best. Especially when it follows the anecdote about how kindness is so important. 

Post edited at 13:51

> Although, controversially, I thought Bear comes across reasonably well in that interview. Certainly better than he usually does. 

Yes he does make some good (although cliched) points about pushing yourself and facing your fear.

But then there is the dreadful trailer for the new show, with him outrunning a lion and wrestling a python in a plunge pool.

What a guy.

Post edited at 13:54
 LastBoyScout 16 Feb 2021
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

I'm not surprised that he's making money on the side with various endorsements, even if I have lost some of respect for the companies paying him (I'm looking at you, Gerber, for one), but the Bear Grylls branded paddle board I saw advertised recently was a bit of a stretch!

In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

' It’s like a firefight. You can’t move backwards. You’ve got to move towards it, you know?'

He obviously missed the memo that said the point of fighting was not dying for your country, but making sure the other fellows died for theirs.

 deepsoup 16 Feb 2021
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> Bear Grylls: 'There's no point getting to the summit if you're an arsehole'

Wow.  I expected that to be said about him..

Funny how he talks about lessons to be learned from the pandemic without mentioning anything about the wisdom (or otherwise) of killing and eating Chinese bats.

> Well, that cheered me up no end
> comments section is a treat...

Holy shit, btw!  Did we all actually watch the embedded trailer for his new* Netflix thing?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Saby6UVF2j8&

*E2A: Not that new apparently, there's a link in the article to this review, also quite a fun read:
https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/apr/10/you-vs-wild-review-i-tried-so-hard-to-feed-bear-grylls-to-a-crocodile

Post edited at 14:24
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

Yes. 
 

Has he ever been in a firefight? His wiki article says he was “twice posted to North Africa.[citation needed]“, but implies in an instructor capacity.

He’s wouldn’t be doing that thing where he creates an exaggerated or false impression of how much actual experience he has, or risks he’s taken, again, would he...? 

In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

If I had read that not knowing it was Bear Grylls (or without prejudice anyway), I would have thought most of it pretty good stuff (ok, I struggle with the religious stuff.... ).

Maybe, deep down, he isn't an arsehole. Maybe it is just his, possibly inadvertent, screen persona.

In reply to Robert Durran:

There's only three clips to watch that will tell you everything you need to know. 1) Playing 'tennis' to kill a disturbed colony of bats just for fun. 2) Claiming to  be 'soloing' an extreme climb in the desert when he is clearly being top roped something rather more straightforward. 3) Jet skiing round Iceland with his mates like so many drunken yobbos  trashing the South Coast. 

 Cobra_Head 16 Feb 2021
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Favourite has to be, Ray Mears once lit a fire in the deep end of a swimming pool.....

 Stichtplate 16 Feb 2021
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

God he's a tit.

He references being in a fire fight..but he never saw active service

He references a dead soldier who he admires "but not for his fighting"...which he never witnessed

He talks of Afghanistan then mentions being on desert deployment...the implication is obvious and entirely false

The truth is Bear joined the TA SAS (and he never ever ever mentions the TA bit) in 94, broke his back in 96 and then was discharged in 97 after year of physio and after never having returned to (part time) duty.

All in all, if you added the weekends and odd two weeks training all together that Bear spent with the STAB SAS if probably added up to a maximum of 4 months. Yet he spouts on about it endlessly as if he spent years as a steely eyed dealer of death.

Couple of years later he was guided up Everest as part of a commercial expedition.

Joining even the TA SAS is an achievement, as is summiting Everest but he makes both these experiences out to be things they absolutely were not and has been doing so for nearly a quarter of a century. 

His real achievement is as such a hugely successful Walter Mitty that he's made a lucrative career out of it.

 marsbar 16 Feb 2021
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

What a headline.  

 marsbar 16 Feb 2021
In reply to LastBoyScout:

When he became chief scout he started selling Bear Grylls branded penknives and other tat, to the Scouts, for profit.  

He used the whole thing as a publicity and marketing drive.  

 LastBoyScout 16 Feb 2021
In reply to marsbar:

Indeed.

Ray Mears or Steve Backshall would have been MUCH better options - I know Steve is very active with his local scout groups.

In reply to Stichtplate:

Have a like for STAB although, unlike our never-deployed public schoolboy hero, a fair few might actually have been in a 'firefight'.

 Stichtplate 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Ridge:

> Have a like for STAB although, unlike our never-deployed public schoolboy hero, a fair few might actually have been in a 'firefight'.

Closest I ever got was being shot up the arse with a poorly fitted BFA.

My proudest moment

Edit: a little less flippantly, I'm well aware that more than a few served right at the pointy end, especially over the last 15 years or so.

Post edited at 15:49
 birdie num num 16 Feb 2021
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Mrs Num Num has wrestled my snake many a time

 Rob Parsons 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Stichtplate:

> God he's a tit.

> He references being in a fire fight..but he never saw active service

> He references a dead soldier who he admires "but not for his fighting"...which he never witnessed

> He talks of Afghanistan then mentions being on desert deployment...the implication is obvious and entirely false ...

Still, if you want to stick water up your arse via a hosepipe - he's yer man!

 Stichtplate 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> Still, if you want to stick water up your arse via a hosepipe - he's yer man!

Or if you really, really want a Spice Girl to piss up your leg

Christ but Eton certainly left it's mark...

In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Bear had every opportunity to put being an arsehole behind him, but preferred to be up front about it.

 Cobra_Head 16 Feb 2021
In reply to LastBoyScout:

>  I know Steve is very active with his local scout groups.

Jimmy Saville was quite active with a number of scout groups!

 Stuart William 16 Feb 2021
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

True, I was thinking more about the “praise the effort not the outcome” bits and suchlike which felt a more grounded than usual for him. I think I was just pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t entirely hyperbolic nonsense, even if the bits that weren’t were mostly banal cliches. 

 mutt 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Stichtplate:

And yet he is immensely popular amongst 10 year olds. My son for one loves the format and Bear Grylls  presentation. He is after all an actor, a degree of hyperbole is par for the course. God forbid you all get your wish and Bear starts to act like a grown up. My son for one would be disappointed.  

In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

His poor sons... Jesse, Marmaduke and Huckleberry

I always love this:

https://jimllpaintit.tumblr.com/post/87217188179/dear-jim-please-paint-ray-mears-and-bear-grylls

 Stichtplate 16 Feb 2021
In reply to mutt:

> And yet he is immensely popular amongst 10 year olds. My son for one loves the format and Bear Grylls  presentation. He is after all an actor, a degree of hyperbole is par for the course. God forbid you all get your wish and Bear starts to act like a grown up. My son for one would be disappointed.  

God forbid your son took any of his “survival” tips or, even worse, his suggestions for abseil anchors seriously.

He wouldn’t just be disappointed, he’d be in hospital.

 George Ormerod 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Cobra_Head:

> >  I know Steve is very active with his local scout groups.

> Jimmy Saville was quite active with a number of scout groups!

Whilst Bear might appear to be a tw*t to those with a little bit of knowledge about the things he ponces round doing, there's no suggestion he's a kiddie fiddler, is there now?

 timjones 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Stichtplate:

> God he's a tit.

> He references being in a fire fight..but he never saw active service

> He references a dead soldier who he admires "but not for his fighting"...which he never witnessed

> He talks of Afghanistan then mentions being on desert deployment...the implication is obvious and entirely false

I'm entirely in agreement with points 1, 2 and 4 but point 3 is probably a bit harsh, there is nothing wrong with admiring somebody for a kind act.

When it comes to talking about fire fights it's hard to believe that the reporter wasn't alert enough to ask whether he had ever been in a real fire fight.

 timjones 16 Feb 2021
In reply to mutt:

> And yet he is immensely popular amongst 10 year olds. My son for one loves the format and Bear Grylls  presentation. He is after all an actor, a degree of hyperbole is par for the course. God forbid you all get your wish and Bear starts to act like a grown up. My son for one would be disappointed.  

I'm proud to be able to say that our daughter saw straight through the Bear illusion at a very tender age ;)

 George Ormerod 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Stichtplate:

Is this the appropriate point to repeat Andy Kirkpartick's story that some members of the SAS were pissed off with Bear, so they went out to his island home, broke in when he wasn't there and left a note on his kitchen table saying not to blather on about the regiment.  Allegedly.  

 Stichtplate 16 Feb 2021
In reply to George Ormerod:

> Is this the appropriate point to repeat Andy Kirkpartick's story that some members of the SAS were pissed off with Bear, so they went out to his island home, broke in when he wasn't there and left a note on his kitchen table saying not to blather on about the regiment.  Allegedly.  

Can't see it really. It'd be a bit like Mick Fowler and Paul Ramsden breaking into DJ Viper's kitchen to graffiti his fingerboard.

 nikoid 16 Feb 2021
In reply to captain paranoia:

> His poor sons... Jesse, Marmaduke and Huckleberry

Yes I often think the parents who give their kids daft names need to  be cogniscant of the day that will surely come when their offspring need to be taken seriously, say sitting in an important meeting at work and someone asks: "now then Huckleberry, could you take us through this?"

 deepsoup 16 Feb 2021
In reply to mutt:

> He is after all an actor, a degree of hyperbole is par for the course.

This is true, but doesn't explain why the character he plays has to be such a nob! ;-)

For example..
Steve Backshall seems like the most obvious person to compare Grylls to.  There's a fair bit of hyperbole, creative editing and such in his programmes too.  But despite the hype you won't catch him telling the viewer that he's soloing a climb, whilst actually pretending to be leading it (on belay), whilst really being on a top rope.  Nor, more generally, pretending to achieve things on his own that he didn't.
(eg: https://twitter.com/SteveBackshall/status/1350739780003192834 <- wholesome.)

Thinking of the shameful "Man vs Wild" 'bat tennis' episode, I really can't think of another example of tv adventure 'character' taking obvious delight in killing the wildlife in a programme.  I guess that's been toned down since?  (Have to admit I can't bear to watch more than a minute or two at a time, so I'm really not all that familiar with his more recent work.)

Have you ever noticed that he never seems to wear a helmet, even when he's 'guiding' someone who is wearing one in an activity (or at least a pretend activity) that clearly calls for it.  As the parent of a young fan, do you have a view on that? 

 deepsoup 16 Feb 2021
In reply to nikoid:

> Yes I often think the parents who give their kids daft names ..

As Frank Zappa famously pointed out in the case of his kids though, it's actually much more likely to be their surname causing them problems in later life so what the heck. ;-)

 mutt 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Stichtplate:

> God forbid your son took any of his “survival” tips or, even worse, his suggestions for abseil anchors seriously.

> He wouldn’t just be disappointed, he’d be in hospital.

are you seriously suggesting that anyone takes directions on outdoor survival and ropework from children's television. 

 mutt 16 Feb 2021
In reply to timjones:

> I'm proud to be able to say that our daughter saw straight through the Bear illusion at a very tender age ;)

ummmm ... good for her. .... I think. Very advanced assessment of character. There are many examples on this forum of similarly insightful people but most of them are really too old for watching childrens telly. At least your daughter has an excuse.

 Stichtplate 16 Feb 2021
In reply to mutt:

> are you seriously suggesting that anyone takes directions on outdoor survival and ropework from children's television. 

Most of his shows have been broadcast after the 9 pm watershed.

From his own website: 

Bear travels the globe seeking out ever more inhospitable places in which to use his extraordinary survival skills – teaching us all these techniques along the way.

Also:

BEAR GRYLLS OBE, has become known worldwide as one of the most recognized faces of survival and outdoor adventure.Trained from a young age in martial arts, Grylls went on to spend three years as a soldier in the British Special Forces, as part of 21 SAS Regiment.

Only a child would believe his crap but he hands out his "lessons in survival" with a straight face and the output I've seen isn't marketed as children's TV

In reply to mutt:

Chief Scout on BBC says THIS is how you abseil...

Why wouldn't you believe it?

 marsbar 16 Feb 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

As a former Scouting volunteer I definitely have views on the helmet issue.  

But it's best I remain calm and think of something else.  

 alx 16 Feb 2021
In reply to nikoid:

> Grylls hopes he’s passed his wisdom on to his three sons: Jesse, Marmaduke and Huckleberry.

 

I am assuming his sons are named after the sales assistant and the fruit preserves Bear was buying at his local Deli?

In reply to captain paranoia:

> His poor sons... Jesse, Marmaduke and Huckleberry

Am I the only one who can only think of Marmaduke as a name for a lorry?

 marsbar 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

Yes, to me Marmaduke is a Great Dane.  

 Cobra_Head 16 Feb 2021
In reply to George Ormerod:

> Whilst Bear might appear to be a tw*t to those with a little bit of knowledge about the things he ponces round doing, there's no suggestion he's a kiddie fiddler, is there now?


I didn't say he was, did I now?

It was meant as a joke, it might have been a poor one, (or not one at all) but either way I didn't expect people to take it seriously.

Post edited at 21:16
In reply to deepsoup:

Yes, agreed. Backshall gives a sense of genuine delight during his programmes, and respect for the setting and the people he’s working with. He comes across as someone who can’t believe his luck that he’s been able to make a career out of doing stuff he loves doing and would be doing anyway.

Grylls gives the impression that the environment, the activities he does, the wildlife, the people he works with, the Scouts, are all just tools to be used in pursuance of his goal, which is to promote his brand and make him wealthy. He shows no evidence of respecting these things, and you get the impression that he could have chosen stockbroking, or management consultancy, but figured there was a gap in the market in ‘adventure pursuits celebrity’ and decided to target that. 
 

It’s disappointing that the most visible face in the media in outdoor activities is someone who seems to regard them merely as a means to an end. 

In reply to marsbar:

> Yes, to me Marmaduke is a Great Dane.  

It turns out Marmaduke the Lorry predates Marmaduke the Great Dane (whom I had never heard of) by one year

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marmaduke

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Marmaduke-lorry-Elizabeth-Chapman/dp/B0000CIOQU

Post edited at 22:26
 marsbar 17 Feb 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

That picture of Marmaduke the lorry does look familiar now I see it.  

 gravy 17 Feb 2021
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

You missed the episode where he leaps "molten lava" to outrun a volcano*

* a 40w red light bulb and some dry ice next to a car park

 Iamgregp 17 Feb 2021
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

You know if someone asked me why I like Backshall and can’t stand Grylls, I wouldn’t have been able to put together a coherent answer, but you’ve hit the nail on the head here.

For me, Backshall’s humility and respect for people and the natural world around him, and his genuine enthusiasm, make him a joy to watch.  Grylls’ arrogance makes him unpalatable for me.

Also Backshall has a lot of balls. In one programme I saw him fish a little snake out of a crack with a stick, then calmly tell the viewers all about it, explained about how it’s one of the deadliest on earth etc.  He then popped it back where he got it from and was on his way. All done with a smile on his face and real enthusiasm and respect for the snake.... Grylls wouldn’t have done anything so risky, and would have repeated ad infinitum how much peril he was in!


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