Bear Grylis Fired by Discovery

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darrenleroy

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Jul 15, 2007
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Discovery make and script the programmes. Not Grylls. He is just paid to present and do what they tell him to do. The Discovery Channel has a history of turning out sensationalist rubbish dressed up as documentaries. Most people on the thread aren't Grylls fanboys, they are just trying to say "seperate the programme from the man". At the other end of the scale you have Ray Mears (yes, I'm a fanboy here). But Ray is a ruthless and coy businessman who has nearly always been in control of his programming from the early Extreme Survival series. I like him personally too, but I could never work for him. He is much more aware of how he should come across on TV and his own future and what it entails to secure that. Grylls wears his soul and heart on his sleeve and is naive in those aspects. Work for Ray and you'd have a strict and controlled working life. Work for Grylls and you'd have fun and a good mate as your boss. The company would probably not last long, but your friendship would.
The key here is integrity. Ray is a shrewd businessman but this isn't to be sneered at. He's built a good living out of his hobby and managed to retain his credibility and integrity in doing so. He's never (to my knowledge) claimed to be anything other than an enthusiast of bushcraft, primitive peoples, and nature in general. When you watch his shows the impression is that of someone who has done his research. His series on early British explorers was exemplary.

I'm a fan of the same things. I know Edward Grylls is presenting a flashier, different kind of image and his shows reflect that. They are not to my taste because I'm a bushcraft enthusiast but there is a place for every kind of presentation. But the exposure of his shortcut methods (hotels; fake lava bridges etc) and his willingness to participate in stunts suggest a man who places style over substance and I've never found that attractive.

Finally, a word about working for the respective men: I posted on this site about a courier friend of mine dropping some airline tickets off to Ray's house last year. It was mentioned before his arrival that I was a fan of his work. So Ray kindly and without prompting signed a hardback edition of one of his books for me to keep. This doesn't necessarily prove he is good to work for but it does suggest a man with a good heart. Someone else I know was working on one of Grylls' shows as an assistant producer. He told me that swearing was banned on set because of his apparently Christian views and anyone caught doing so was asked to leave. A bit harsh considering the rough and ready world of TV production and ex-soldiers. This story is hearsay; I wasn't there to verify it so take it as you will, but it does make me ponder.
 

johnboy

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Oct 2, 2003
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I'm not sure if this is all light hearted banter or I need to close the thread because it's getting personal between people now????
I think you need to leave the thread open IMHO... We need to work out the 'Bear fervor' within reason once and for all and with MvW seemingly comming to an end this is perhaps an oppertune time and it's good you've contributed to the thread.

Toddy asked...
Tell me; are those who criticise correct in the detail of their criticism ? Did his tv shows advocate, encourage and promote unsafe behaviour ? Were there inconsistancies in what he said he did and what he actually did ?

I think it depends on how you view the shows TBH. If you view them as a 'how to survival guide' then yep they are full of stuff that you're not going to do in a true survival situation. I think anyone who has studied 'survival' even at a basic level would recognise that.

Yes there are inconsistancies in the production of the show. Especially in the earlier series. He shown rappeling down a waterfall on a 'just a vine' and there is a black static line being used as a safety rope in shot ( this is also true of Dual Survival another Discovery show) there are lots of other instances. Also it was initially billed as being a 'reality' type show with just him and a camera man.


Most of the episodes run to a fairly consistant pattern.

1. He will eat or drink something gross to most normal folk.
2. He will get his shirt off
3. He will venture underground if possible
4. He will climb something solo
5. He will swim a river if possible
6. There is always a high drama 'insertion' at the start of the show.

To my mind it's often like someone has taken 'First Blood' the movie and used some of the salient scenes as a scripting guide.

So as a informative survival information series MvW is very lacking TBH. There are some 'interesting' episodes in the later series which break with the format above which have some good stuff in them. The episode in the Canadian Rockies IIRC where BG gets buried in snow pack simulating burial in avalanche debris and then monitiored for Core temp and HR etc was an interesting episode IMHO. I suspect however that this type of episode is less interesting to Discovery, as Drinking P#$$ sleeping inside camels and driving a skidoo out of the back of a MiL 8 make for better ratings and subsequent income and distribution revenue.

Yes he does lots of 'Dangerous stuff' in each episode.. If someone copied it they could get killed or injured.


As entertainment in a Boys Own fashion I personally enjoy it he's doing stuff in places I'm never going to visit, simply put it's escapisim. I watched the SI NZ episode the other night and it was fun watching him Skydive into Aspiring National Park out of the back of a RNZAF C130 (high drama Insertion) eat a Huhu grub ( eating something Gross) Strip off and swim in a Glacial River ( getting shirt off) Descend into an Underground river (going underground at any oppertunity).

I do realise I watch the show with mature and to a degree experienced eyes. Others may not and may try to emulate the show.. That's the risk of making TV I suppose.

Folk might watch the Stig on Top Gear and try and drive their K reg Clio in a similar fashion...

The core issue for me (and others) is you have to seperate the Man from the TV programme.

Which some forum folk struggle to do.

Fundamentally everyone involved in a MvW episode has a hand in promoting 'untruths, unsafe behaviour, poor survival practice etc' from the comissioning editor at Discovery, the producer + camera man working for Diverse to the 'survival consultants' etc... But it's understandable that folk concentrate on the 'star' of the show...
 

JonathanD

Ophiological Genius
Sep 3, 2004
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Contempt, yes. Jealousy, no. I am however envious of the deep knowledge of the likes of Mr Kochanski et al.

I just smell a phoney with Edward Grylls. His military details don't ring quite true for a start. I've met several archetypal ex-forces or wannabe ex-forces men who mention 'special forces' at the drop of a hat when they were probably in the galley peeling spuds or were in the cadets at best. Let's see your military record, Edward. Clear it up once and for all...
I've met him within military circles. He is no wannabe or SF phoney, in fact he has hardly ever mentioned his current role or officers rank within the Royal Navy Reserves. If he had lied about his military carer or exaggerated it, he certainly would not have been awarded his current rank by the RN. He has also never publicly talked about his SF career details after passing Selection. And if you don't believe he did that (twice), then you will be disapointed. He did.

Very good points.
Those FACTS are not good points, solely for the fact that none of those three 'facts' are true or accurate in anyway.



 
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JonathanD

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Someone else I know was working on one of Grylls' shows as an assistant producer. He told me that swearing was banned on set because of his apparently Christian views and anyone caught doing so was asked to leave. A bit harsh considering the rough and ready world of TV production and ex-soldiers. This story is hearsay; I wasn't there to verify it so take it as you will, but it does make me ponder.
It's exactly weird stuff like this that gets perpetuated as truth. Which it isn't. There are established members on here that have worked with him from almost day one. Let's stick to facts and leave out personal opinion based on rumour and hearsay.
 

Flasheart

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Just watched his north African adventure.....clearly showed the use of a bow fire drill......also clearly cheated the end result and the embers were beyond fake.
 

darrenleroy

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Jul 15, 2007
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It's exactly weird stuff like this that gets perpetuated as truth. Which it isn't. There are established members on here that have worked with him from almost day one. Let's stick to facts and leave out personal opinion based on rumour and hearsay.
The guy who worked on the show had no beef with Grylls and wasn't a fantasist. Just an ordinary crew member. But I accept that unless we witness events for ourselves we cannot verify them 100 per cent.

Anyway, I'm over this convo. I simply don't like what he represents and how he comes across but appreciate others might. It's just not my thing. I'll stick to the fact-based presenters. To each his own.
 

Flasheart

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......but his biting through the spinal column of the (possibly already dead) octopus to kill it was real....

Am I a balanced critic or what ;-)
 

VFR800Essex

Tenderfoot
Feb 28, 2012
78
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Essex UK
I too like Bear!
He only act's that way because that's how Discovery channel want him to be!
In person he's a very nice bloke, and does not "BIG" himself up at all!
Anyone see his paraglide hight record attempt a few years ago?
At least he does not charge £350.00 for a 6 hr walk in the woods!
But i would probably charge that if i could!!!!...;)
Wise words indeed.
 

VFR800Essex

Tenderfoot
Feb 28, 2012
78
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Essex UK
For a guy who put his life on the line in nearly every show, he did a great job.
Some office types probably thought up 2 hair brained ideas like wrestling a killer whale, naked and grizzly bear testicle slapping.

Maybe this was the shuv he needed to start new projects. If he started a survival school who on here would be interested in attending?
 

JonathanD

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Sep 3, 2004
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......but his biting through the spinal column of the (possibly already dead) octopus to kill it was real....

Am I a balanced critic or what ;-)
How do you bite through the spinal column of an invertebrate?
That's what he said.............

Oh the irony......
Actually. No he didn't. Please try and get your facts right....

[video=youtube;MGpFEBP8bmY]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGpFEBP8bmY&feature=fv wp&NR=1[/video]
 
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Flasheart

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Oh huge apologies, I got it wrong.


However you have proved he fact that he "killed" by biting through the nerves what was an OBVIOUSLY already dead octopus.

So what do we learn from this......I got nerves mixed with spinal column......he tried to pass off killing what was already already dead.
 

Flasheart

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Just like he tried to pass off killing a rabbit he caught at the butchers....Er sorry a "wild trap"..... And then had to add a voice over to explain what he did after complaints from viewers.
 

Adze

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Oct 9, 2009
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Tell me Jonathan, what your position would have been, should he have bitten the head off that snake (check one of the links from your link for confirmation) in the UK rather than elsewhere in the World?
 

JonathanD

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Sep 3, 2004
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Oh huge apologies, I got it wrong.


However you have proved he fact that he "killed" by biting through the nerves what was an OBVIOUSLY already dead octopus.

So what do we learn from this......I got nerves mixed with spinal column......he tried to pass off killing what was already already dead.
Yeah, the octopus was already dead. He never said it wasn't. Is that a problem though, and is it Bear, Health and Safety or the programme makers that are misleading here?

Lets not forget our much loved and esteemed David Attenborough's Life series also uses studio and captive animals that are filmed for inserts where you assume you are looking at something happening in the natural world. yet I don't think anyone here will ever stand up and shout "OI Attenborough.. you phoney you."

Tell me Jonathan, what your position would have been, should he have bitten the head off that snake (check one of the links from your link for confirmation) in the UK rather than elsewhere in the World?
Snakes within the UK are protected as they are declining rapidly. It would have been outrageous. If they were as numerous as rabbits or grey squirrels, I would have less of a problem. I eat fish caught within the UK. I think that is acceptable as long it is a common species. If it were a protected and declining species in this or another country, I would not do so, or think that acceptable in any way. The same applies to snakes.

Saying that though, I find the killing of any animal in the making of a TV programme oddly distasteful. But I don't hold Grylls personally to account for the actions within the show. Ray Mears has killed fish, deer, mussels and limpets etc in the making of his programmes. Yet we see that as acceptable because they are on our menu every day.
 

Flasheart

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The implication was that the octopus was alive......otherwise why did he "catch" it in the sea, then "kill" it with a bite, then comment on it "still sucking his lip" and "sticking in his gullet", followed by "don't keep it once it's killed or the bacteria will mount up".

Or am I missing something ;-)
 

JonathanD

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Sep 3, 2004
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The implication was that the octopus was alive......otherwise why did he "catch" it in the sea, then "kill" it with a bite, then comment on it "still sucking his lip" and "sticking in his gullet", followed by "don't keep it once it's killed or the bacteria will mount up".

Or am I missing something ;-)
Yes, you are missing that it is a programme and staged. It is not real. But Grylls is just presenting just like Attenborough is just presenting.
 

Adze

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Saying that though, I find the killing of any animal in the making of a TV programme oddly distasteful.
Indeed... although there is a vast difference between "being killed for the programme" and "being killed and then used in the programme"

IIRC the deer that Ray butchered using flint tools was shot for pest control reasons, not for the purposes of being butchered using flint tools. Not to mention that it was definitely dead before any filming took place.

Before you jump to the conclusion that I'm an avid Rayfan and Bearhater - let me assure you that this reply is solely in response to your previous comment without prejudice in either direction. I neither adulate or denigrate either based on their personalities or on their achievements.

However, that snake was quite definitely alive (I didn't bother watching any of the other linked "bon appetit" episodes as I suspect they're equally distasteful) before it was killed on camera simply for the effects of a programme you have quite rightly stated as being scripted by a team employed by the Discovery channel - however, Grylls actually performed the act and that can only be down to him. He did it... it's on tape... and not for any other reason than he was being paid for it. He had every opportunity to say "No... I'm not doing that" but he didn't. The "I was only following orders" lark didn't hold much water for those people who could genuinely say they were in fear of their lives if they didn't perform as expected so please don't "p!ss down our backs and claim it's raining" when it comes to someone elses contractual arrangements. He did those things for the money... not for ANY other reason.
 
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