Sunday 17 December 2017

Bear Grylls survival show accused of 'fakery'

The Island with Bear Grylls
The Island with Bear Grylls

Claire Carter

A survival show presented by Bear Grylls has become embroiled in a faking row after producers admitted adding a rubber lined pool and two crocodiles to an island where men were marooned and tasked with finding their own food, shelter and water.

Channel 4 has admitted that a rubber lined pool was added to provide participants with a water supply during filming of television show The Island, where 13 ‘ordinary men’ were left to fend for themselves.

Bosses also admitted two crocodiles were let loose on the uninhabited island to ensure there was enough “native wildlife” to sustain the 13 men during the 28 days they had to show they could survive.

In an introduction to the show, Grylls said: “I want to find out what happens if you strip man of all the luxuries and conveniences of modern living and then force him to fight for his existence.”

It has also emerged that four of those put on the Pacific Island – dubbed “ordinary men” – had experience of surviving in extreme environments and at least two had worked with Grylls before, the Daily Mirror reported.

Rupert Smith, who had worked in war zones and alongside Grylls on another programme, Escape to the Legion, was filmed jumping on the back of a caiman crocodile and then capturing it with Sackie Osakanor, an actor.

Kiff MacManus, who has 10 years’ experience of surviving in some of the world’s most dangerous places, also features in the show. His background is listed on the profile pages of the show’s website.

During the show viewers were told that three of the men were trained cameramen, but were reminded that “none of these men have any experience living in the wild.”

In a ‘making of’ video, posted on the programme’s website, it states four professionals have been embedded into the group but does not explain who they are

However Channel 4 said the programme’s voice-over clearly explained that four crew members were part of the show and said their professions were captioned on the screen.

All of the men's professions and backgrounds are also detailed in biographies on the programme's website.

In 2008 Grylls apologised to viewers after he was involved in another fakery row, after it emerged he stayed in a hotel rather than in the wild while filming Born Survivor.

A statement said: “We had to ensure the island’s only water supply, a muddy pool, would last through filming in the dry season and that there was enough native animals and native vegetation that could sustain the men for 28 days – as long as they had the ingenuity to find it, catch it and kill it.”

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