I was going to post this back in July, when the Daily Mail broke the Bear Gryllls scandal, but I was secretly hoping Bear would address the issue and say he was only staying in hotels because it was a life or death circumstance. In case you aren’t familiar, here are the claims being investigated by Channel 4.
In one episode filmed in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains he was shown biting off the head of a snake for breakfast and boasting that he was living on ‘just a water bottle, a cup and a flint for making fire’. Viewers were not told that he was actually spending some nights in the Pines Resort hotel at Bass Lake, where the rooms have Internet access and is advertised as ‘a cosy getaway for families’ complete with blueberry pancakes for breakfast.
In another episode when Grylls declared he was a ‘real life Robinson Crusoe’ stuck on a desert island, he was actually on an outlying part of the Hawaiian archipelago and retired to a motel at nightfall.
Mark Weinert, a survival consultant brought in for the programme, said one show also wrongly gave the impression that the adventurer built a Polynesian- style raft using only materials around him, including bamboo and palm leaves for a sail.
Mr Weinert had in fact led a team that built the raft, which was then dismantled so that Grylls could be shown constructing it on camera.
In another episode, Grylls was filmed attempting to lasso ‘wild’ mustang in the Sierra Nevada, when the horses were actually tame and had been brought in by trailer from a nearby trekking station….
Channel 4 confirmed that Grylls had used hotels during expeditions and ordered the production company that made the programme to investigate the other claims.
I desperately wanted to believe that this is all being blown out of proportion — that Bear is simply so adept at surviving in the wilderness that he actually BUILT a blue-berry-pancake-serving bed & breakfast out of twigs and moss — but alas this video seems to speak volumes to legitimize the accusations.