• Survival Games with bear Grylls (SBS)Source: SBS
Bear Grylls has a long history of putting guest celebrities through their paces.
Jeremy Cassar

25 Nov 2016 - 1:11 PM  UPDATED 25 Nov 2016 - 1:15 PM

Say what you will about Bear Grylls, but the man’s definitely a character. Enough of a character to attract a motley crew of celebrities (from A-listers to Tom Arnold) away from their mansions and into to the unforgiving wilderness.

SBS currently airs Grylls series Survivor Games, which has Grylls collaborate with Chinese TV for the first time. On the show, the crew spends over two weeks in forests and jungles in Guizhou Province. Bear leads a team of eight celebrities, along with the show's host Jiang Changjian, as they survive on a diet they didn't expect. 

Survivalist shows cater to the caveperson in all of us, even if many of us are too lazy or fearful to get out there and try their hands against mother nature, even for one night.

Perhaps this is why the following celebrities agreed to appear reality shows with Grylls in the past:

Ed Helms

Helms is an actor that gleans much of his comedy from playing the wuss, so appearing alongside the daring Grylls was an instant recipe for entertainment.

The Hangover star’s expression while retreating down an abseiling rope is a thing of beauty, and suggests perhaps his nervy and insecure persona isn’t too far from the truth.

Kate Winslet

Winslet’s spritely personality and natural wit makes this episode of Running Wild a delight. Forget her more daring feats and enjoy Winslet’s inaugural tampon fire, all rights reserved.


Watching the big man lumber through the mountains of upstate New York is enough of an image on its own. Even more memorable is Shaq’s reaction to a raw, stretched out animal placenta.

But the NBA hall-of-famer’s brush with a steep cliff and subsequent commentary is the episode’s highlight.

It’s hard for a man to trust a rope

- Shaquille O’Neill

Courtney Cox

The Cougar Town star (what, was she in something else?) braves the Irish Highlands and shows true moxie when faced with a particular delicacy on the trip’s menu—maggots.

James Marsden

Versatile actor James Marsden heads to Utah Canyon with Bear, commendable enthusiasm, and a genuine fear of heights, the latter of which is on full display when he’s asked to do what Bear does and repel down the canyon.

Channing Tatum

Trust Channing Tatum to swallow his nerves and run (yes, run) down a steep mountain. Tatum’s range on screen is increasingly impressive, and as Bear refers to the man as ‘Stallone’, we’re guessing he’ll perform all future stunts.

Michelle Rodriguez

Watching bad-ass action star Michelle Rodriguez tear through the wilderness is no surprise—the setting is a perfect fit for the fit star. Which is why witnessing her consumption of a less-than-palatable protein cooked in her own urine that much more captivating.

Curiously, Bear goes on to drink the broth as if it was in the fine print. Doesn’t he make the rules?

Mel B

The former Spice Girl and Bear head to Wales for a bit of dangerous living. The exuberant pop star took to the rocky terrain like a trooper, but not so confident was her choice to urinate on Mr. Gryll’s hand, surely a moment that neither will ever forget.

President Barack Obama

Yes, the outgoing POTUS himself rounded out season two with a trip to Exit Glacier in the Kenai Mountains of Alaska. Flanked by off-camera secret service, Obama signs on to an episode that’s less about placing a star in danger and more about the consequences of climate change, a danger far more frightening than a repel down a mountain.

Hankering for more Bear? Stop on by at SBS On Demand and check out Survivor Games with Bear Grylls. 

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