Ahead of new episodes of The Island with Bear Grylls, get to know the world’s favourite death defying man of the wild.
1. He once rowed naked in a homemade bathtub, to raise funds for a friend who had lost his legs in a climbing disaster
The wild man once participated in The Great Sussex Bath Race, which still runs annually, and they kept photographic proof of his heroic effort.
2. He holds the world record for the highest open-air formal dinner party, held in a hot-air balloon at 7,600m
Grylls enjoyed asparagus tips, duck a l’orange and fruit terrine, with side orders of freezing temperatures of minus 50 degrees Celsius. Once finished, he saluted the Queen and then skydived back down to earth, as you do.
3. He once Wrapped a urine-soaked t-shirt round his head to prevent overheating
The height of Grylls’ obsession with his own bodily fluids was when he urinated on his own shirt and wore it on his head to keep cool in the desert. Thankfully, this fashion trend begins and ends with Grylls.
4. He loves bubble baths
The first thing Grylls likes to do when he gets home from his adventures is take a bubble bath as stated in an interview with Stuff Magazine. It’s such a relief to know this considering his preference for urine soaked headgear.
5. He has his own videogame
Man verses Wild was released on Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360 in 2011. Press X to eat raw animal flesh.
6. He climbed Mount Everest when he was 23
Grylls was on top of the world in 1998. At the time, he was one of the youngest people ever to make it to the summit. To make the feat more remarkable, Grylls completed the climb only a few months after recovering from a broken back after a skydiving accident.
7. He once survived a fall from a plane after his parachute ripped mid-skydive
The story is terrifying as detailed by Grylls in an editorial for The Daily Mail:
“One evening, as the brilliance of the African sun was being replaced by the glow of dusk, my friends and I huddled together in a small plane as we climbed to nearly 16,000ft. The plane levelled out. Someone reached for the door. One by one, the guys dropped from the door and fell away. Soon I was alone. I looked down, took that familiar deep breath, then slid off the step.
Three thousand feet. Time to pull. I reached to my right hip and gripped the ripcord. I pulled it strongly. Initially, it responded as normal.
The canopy opened with a crack that interrupted the noise of the 130mph free fall. My descent rate slowed to 25mph. Then I looked up and saw something was wrong. Instead of a smooth rectangular shape, I had a very deformed looking tangle of chute, which meant it would be a nightmare to control.
I pulled hard on both steering toggles to see if that would help. I started to panic. The desert floor was coming closer. My descent was far too fast. I was too low to use my reserve chute. I was getting close to the ground, coming in at speed – and then I smashed into the desert floor.
I bounced like a rag doll and landed directly on my back, right on top of the tightly packed reserve chute. It felt if something had driven clean through the centre of my spine. I could only roll over, crying in agony. In the pit of my stomach I feared that my life would never be the same again.”
8. His first appearance on TV was in a deodorant commercial
Word got around about Grylls’ success on Mount Everest so the next natural step is: deodorant!
9. He owns an island
To get this straight, he has a TV show called The Island with Bear Grylls, and he also owns his own private island. The island is in Wales and it’s 20 acres and five miles offshore with no mains, electricity, or running water.
He got in trouble for building a slide on the island so he could get to the water in style. Sadly, the slide has been removed by the local council.
10. He inspires people to get tattoos of him
A fan got Grylls inked. Speaks for itself.
Watch The Island with Bear Grylls on Saturdays at 9:30pm on SBS starting 3 June.
Missed the first episode? Watch it at SBS On Demand right here: