November 20, 2019
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British explorer Bear Grylls is best known
to TV audiences for Discovery’s Man vs. Wild — known as Born Survivor: Bear Grylls in
the UK. The magic of TV makes Grylls look like the
ultimate survivor, but the truth isn’t quite so clear-cut. From his genuine scrapes with death to embarrassing
leaks about his so-called survival shows, this is the untold truth of Bear Grylls. School bullies Anyone who’s seen his shows might be surprised
to learn that Grylls was bullied in school. The guy seems pretty tough now, but he wasn’t
always like that. In response to the bullying he received at
school, young Grylls decided to take up karate along with a few of his friends. Three years later he got his black belt and
went to train in Japan as the youngest member of the Karate Union of Great Britain. Grylls described the experience in his book
Mud, Sweat and Tears: “Each night we slept on the floor in small
wooden Japanese huts, and by day we learned how to fight — real and hard. The training was more exacting and demanding
than anything I had previously encountered.” Military man After leaving school, Grylls spent several
months hiking the Indian Himalayas. He told The Hindustan Times: “I spent quite some time in India before I
joined the army. I went out there climbing, and up in West
Bengal and all around Darjeeling. We were in Calcutta for a while and then we
were with the Indian Army as well.” Grylls even flirted with the idea of joining
the Indian Army himself at the time, but ultimately decided to enroll in the military at home
in Great Britain. Grylls joined the United Kingdom Special Forces
Reserve in 1994 and served with 21 Regiment Special Air Service, or SAS, for three years,
receiving training in everything from desert and winter warfare to evasive driving, climbing,
and explosives. ​Freefall Grylls might have only been an SAS reserve,
but that doesn’t mean he got to skip out on any of the dangerous stuff. Grylls’ second deployment to Africa ended
in a terrible accident that almost claimed his life. He told The Guardian: “In Africa, my parachute ripped at 17,000
[feet]. I blacked out, and on landing broke my back. I spent the next 18 months in braces and plaster. I was lucky to survive, let alone walk again.” A friend of Grylls who was with him at the
time told The Guardian: “I look back and think of him in the body
brace after that horrific parachute fall, and it’s incredible that he survived it. Then to look at what he has achieved since
then, I’d never have thought it possible.” Top of the world Breaking three vertebrae after a 17,000 foot
fall would be enough to put most people off heights for good, but Grylls didn’t let it
stop him. Grylls lived his childhood dream to climb
Everest when he scaled earth’s highest mountain in 1998, less than two years after his near-fatal
Africa fall. Everest is obviously no walk in the park,
and Grylls almost met his end for a second time when some loose ice left him hanging
on for dear life. “We were in the first stage of the Everest
ascent when the ground gave way, leaving me swinging on the end of this rope, clutching
at these black and glassy walls.” Dinner party In 2005, Grylls and fellow explorer Lieutenant
Commander Alan Veal staged one of the weirdest stunts of Grylls’ career. They broke the record for the world’s highest
dinner party when they flew a hot air balloon to a height of 24,262 feet and climbed down
to a dinner table suspended below the balloon, braving temperatures of minus 50 degrees Celsius. After enjoying a three-course meal together,
the daredevil duo dedicated the venture to Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth and skydived
back down to ground with full bellies. Controversies Grylls was the subject of controversy in 2008
when U.S. survival consultant Mark Wienert started talking to the British media about
his time working on Grylls’ show Man vs. Wild, claiming that the star was a fraud. Wienert revealed that during one episode he
personally assembled a Polynesian-style bamboo raft off-camera only for Grylls to add the
finishing touches and take the credit. And after shooting on the episode concluded,
Wienert claims the ex-military man left for a motel. And that wasn’t the only time the show allegedly
faked Grylls’ whereabouts, according to the whistleblower. Grylls apparently spent a few nights in a
luxurious lodge during the filming of the Sierra Nevada mountains episode. Grylls responded to the claims by saying,
“If people felt misled on how the first series was represented, I’m really sorry for that…we
film these things over six days and, after filming the night stuff, we’re back with a
crew in a base camp lodge.” Adventure Dad When your dad eats bugs and gets peed on for a living, you’re bound to have an interesting
childhood. That’s definitely true for Bear Grylls’ kids. When they aren’t staying on the houseboat
they have moored on the banks of London’s River Thames, Grylls and his family live on
a remote island off the coast of Wales. In 2013, Grylls found himself in hot water
with the local council after erecting a huge metal slide that ended with a drop off a cliff
face into the sea below. Grylls defended his decision by saying: “The slide is not for the paying public and
therefore the health and safety is not for other people. It’s for me and the kids and friends to use
when we are there. It has an element of danger to it, you do
hit the water pretty hard. But do you know what? There are a lot more dangerous things around.” He came under criticism again in 2015 when
he purposely stranded his 11-year-old son on a rocky outcrop off the island to serve
as a training aid for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Survivor Games Bear Grylls is hugely popular in the U.S.
and his native U.K., but he also has a massive following in an unlikely place: China. Grylls’ 2012 bestseller Mud, Sweat and Tears
was voted the most influential book in China the year it was released. And in 2016, Grylls invited several Chinese
celebrities to join him in the wild, including former NBA star Yao Ming, Olympic swimmer
Fu Yuanhui, and Robin Li, one of China’s richest tech moguls. The show aired under the name Survivor Games
and featured a premise similar to Mission Survive, a UK series in which Grylls takes
eight celebrities on a two week hike through unforgiving terrain and eliminates them one
by one. Despite the country’s love for Grylls, however,
the Chinese version didn’t go over well. Viewers complained that the show was “tasteless”
and “disgusting” after Grylls forced the contestants to drink their own urine. Disgusting? Oh yeah. But tasteless? We’ll have to trust Grylls on that. “God there’s no getting away from it.” “Pftttt!” “That really is pretty horrible it’s like
warm. And it’s salty.” Thanks for watching! Click the Looper icon to subscribe to our
YouTube channel. Plus check out all this cool stuff we know
you’ll love, too!

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