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A Look at Bear Grylls’s TV Career So Far

Bear Grylls has completed many challenges in his career, but he is probably best known for his action-packed TV shows such as Running Wild, where he takes A-list celebrities to remote places to teach them survival skills. 

With his latest show I Survived Bear Grylls running on the small screen, we take a look at all his TV shows to date:

Escape to the Legion

Back in 2005, Bear Grylls filmed a short version of the French Foreign Legion’s basic desert training. Bear and some other ‘recruits’ were based at a camp in the Sahara for four weeks, to see who could survive the grueling boot camp. The show had four episodes and was broadcast on the Military Channel in the US and on Channel 4 in the UK.

Born Survivor / Man vs Wild

The TV series known as Born Survivor in the UK, and Man vs Wild in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and India, saw Bear Grylls being dropped into some of the planet’s most remote and inhospitable places to show off his survival skills. Bear parachuted from planes and helicopters, climbed and descended cliffs and ice walls, ate snakes and insects, and drank urine. The show premiered in 2006 and ran for seven seasons over five years. An episode of the show was recorded with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019.

Worst-Case Scenario

In this show, Bear showed how to survive 12 different ‘worst case scenarios’ – using situations from everyday life when disaster strikes, such as getting out of a sinking car, escaping a frozen lake or a high-rise apartment fire. Bear put himself into potentially life-threatening situations and used his survival and military skills to give step-by-step instructions. The show had 12 episodes and ran on Discovery Channel in 2010.

Bear’s Wild Weekend

These two specials, made for Channel 4 in the UK in 2011 and screened as Bear Grylls’ Wild Adventure in the US, saw Bear taking two celebrities, Jonathan Ross and Miranda Hart, on two-day survival adventures in rainforest and mountains. In 2013, he made a third episode with Stephen Fry in the Dolomite Mountains.

Get Out Alive

In this action-packed show, ten different teams competed to survive the wild in New Zealand, tackling everything from mountain gorges and glaciers to fast-flowing rivers, and rapids. Grylls hosted the show and each week, he eliminated a team until the last one remaining won a cash prize. The show premiered on NBC on 8 July 2013 and ran for 8 episodes.

Escape from Hell

Here, Bear Grylls tells the true stories of some ordinary people who ended up being in unexpected survival situations, and he gives all the insight into how they survived. He visits a remote jungle to tell stories like the story of a plane crash survivor, and he visits a desert, a canyon, and a snowy mountain range to tell the stories of the extreme challenges the survivors had to face to get out alive. The show had six episodes and ran on the Discovery Channel in the US and UK in 2013.

The Island with Bear Grylls

In this reality show, participants were left on a remote and uninhabited Pacific island to see if they could survive. The participants filmed themselves and the show was narrated by Bear Grylls. The show premiered on Channel 4 in the UK in 2014 on NBC in the US in 2015 and ran for five seasons, with adaptations around the world. A sixth series in 2019 was named Treasure Island with Bear Grylls. A seventh series was postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Running Wild with Bear Grylls

This is one of Grylls’s most popular TV shows, where he takes a different celebrity on a two-day trip in the wilderness to test their survival skills in each episode. Celebrities who have taken part included Zac Efron, Ben Stiller, Kate Winslet, Kate Hudson, Michelle Rodriguez, Michael B Jordan, and President Barack Obama. The show premiered on NBC in 2014 and has run for seven seasons, moving to National Geographic in 2019 from Season 5 onwards. A new season has been filmed in 2023 which has not yet aired.

Mission Survive

In this six-part show, eight celebrities got together for a 12-day survival mission, filmed in Costa Rica and then in South Africa. The celebrities were tested and had to undertake a series of grueling challenges and one was eliminated in each episode. The series ran on ITV in the UK for two seasons, in 2015 and 2016.

Bear Grylls Survival School

In this kids’ show, the children left their gadgets at home to undertake some outdoor adventures with Grylls for two weeks, learning to work as a team to survive in the wild. It was filmed in 2015 and ran on CITV in the UK (formerly Children’s ITV) for two seasons.

Survivor Games

This series featured Bear Grylls and eight celebrities from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, who undertook a 16-day adventure in the forest. It ran on Dragon TV in China in 2015.

Bear’s Mission

Similar to Running Wild with Bear Grylls, this series ran on ITV in the UK, with Bear Grylls taking a different celebrity on an overnight adventure. The series ran in 2018.

You vs Wild

This interactive series hit Netflix in 2019, with viewers making choices to determine the outcome and whether Bear Grylls gets to survive. It was filmed in remote locations including jungles, mountains, and desert canyons.

World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji

Bear Grylls presented this series, where 66 teams from 30 different countries took part in an adventure race in Fiji. The series had ten episodes and premiered on Amazon Prime Video in 2020 

Bear Grylls Wild Adventure

This was a two-part series with Bear taking to the wilderness with celebrities rugby star Jonny Wilkinson and boxer Nicole Adams. It ran on ITV in the UK in 2021.

Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge

This was a spin-off of Running Wild with Bear Grylls, with Bear teaching survival skills to celebrities Florence Pugh and Anthony Anderson. It premiered in 2022 on National Geographic.

Bear Grylls Meets President Zelenskyy

In this one-off documentary, Bear Grylls traveled to Ukraine to interview President Zelenskyy about the country’s war with Russia. It aired in March 2023.

I Survived Bear Grylls

This eight-part show premiered in May 2023. Hosted by Bear Grylls and comedian Jordan Conley, each episode sees five contestants go head to head to undertake a series of ‘survival’ challenges, to see who can ‘survive Bear Grylls’ and win a cash prize.

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