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In Bear Grylls: Mission Survive the celebrity expedition team will be pushed to their physical and emotional limits. Issued daily mission briefings by Bear, they will have to navigate treacherous obstacles and journey through dangerous dense jungle, testing their ability to adapt, improvise and overcome in one of the world’s most hostile environments.
Joining Bear are actors Emilia Fox and Laurence Fox, singer and actor Max George, double Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes, TV presenter and singer Jamelia, comedy actor Tom Rosenthal, DJ, model and presenter Vogue Williams and Former England International Rugby Player Mike Tindall MBE.
Testing the celebrities at every turn on the fundamental principles of survival: shelter, water, fire and food, the celebrities have to abseil down ferocious waterfalls, cross perilous rapids, trudge through swamps and negotiate razor-sharp vines - not to mention contending with scorpions, snakes and sand flies.
Bear will guide the celebrities on their punishing assignments, sharing with them his expertise, mindset and skills. He will also be assisted on the ground by his much trusted right-hand colleagues, survival experts Megan Hine and Scott Heffield.
Meg and Scott will be Bear’s eyes and ears throughout, observing the progress of the famous faces as they advance through the jungle. They will help inform Bear on how the celebrities are coping so he can best decide who should be eliminated and who should continue.
However it’s not just survival of the fittest, Bear is looking for unique qualities that aren't always most apparent: the team player who can also work alone, the quick-thinker who can work under extreme pressure and can also plan ahead, the leader who is able to take advice from those around them and the quiet hero who shoulders the burden when times get tough. The winner will have to show a resilience and ability to endure hardships unlike anything they’ve experienced before.
At the end of every episode Bear will eliminate one person. And at the end of the series, there will be three finalists and ultimately just one Mission Survivor.
Bear Grylls said: “This show is all about empowerment and I am so proud of how the celebrity team who joined me on Mission Survive performed. It was without doubt a tough expedition, but also a very life-enhancing adventure for everyone involved. I would set them daily survival missions and would then regularly back away, leaving them to their own devices, so that they would learn by doing it and making mistakes. That's the source of all genuine growth in a survivor. I was looking for the qualities that a survivor in a real-life scenario most needs: positivity, resourcefulness, courage, determination, and a whole heap of bloody mindedness!”
Coming soon to ITV, Bear Grylls: Mission Survive is a Bear Grylls Ventures/Electus/betty production for ITV.
Why did you want to take on this new TV challenge?
So often, I have seen how the wild can change people for the better. We see unlikely heroes emerge and those we might think are invincible often actually crumble!
Did you have any preconceptions of how the celebrities would fare beforehand?
What I like is that it is impossible to call the winner at the start. Heroes in movies all look heroic but in real life it is not like that. Until the celebrities were squeezed, you don’t know who is going to emerge.
Were you pleased with how diverse the line-up was?
It was great to pull in such high calibre guests but I guess this journey is unique in the sense that it was a genuine expedition like no other. So few people get the chance to do this for real as well as testing themselves and learning skills that will stay with them for years. I am really proud of those that were standing at the end- and the journey that they personally had gone through.
DJ, model and TV star
Phobias: Spiders and insects. I also don’t like confined spaces
Previous experience of outdoors camping: I slept in a tent in a festival once!
Toughest challenge: Eating a live scorpion.
Missed most: I missed food way more than I missed my husband, Brian (McFadden)!
Best survival tips you learnt: To be and remain positive
Why did you decide to sign up to this challenge?
I had got so used to life at home, I wasn’t doing anything to push myself out of my comfort zone. I felt I was getting a bit boring and I wanted to do something exciting. You don’t get more exciting than Bear Grylls! This has to be the most insane thing I have ever done. I also didn’t realise what it was going to be like. I thought we would be staying in a teepee tent!
Phobias: Heights. Even going in a hotel lift freaks me out
Previous experience of outdoors camping: A school expedition; pop festival camping over three days
Toughest challenge: Walking across a rope over a 300ft cavern
Missed most: My girlfriend and my friends
Best survival tips you learnt: If you get lost, find a river and follow it downhill. Civilisation will beckon
Why did you sign up to this challenge?
I felt it was a really nice change of pace. I felt like I had got used to my life. I am happy and I enjoy my life in the city but I have never had to find a shelter, get food or worry about the primary issues to do with living. I wanted to go on a show where it is a much more authentic life and where everything is a lot simpler.
Mike Tindall MBE
Former England International rugby player
England Captain & 2003 World Cup Winner
Phobias: I didn’t really have any
Previous experience of outdoors camping: Mum and dad took us on holidays and my last camping trip was when I did the Duke of Edinburgh Award
Toughest challenge: The third day was horrendous. We’d spent 12 hours with our feet in the water and then our shelter collapsed
Missed most: Definitely all of my family
Best survival tips you learnt: I don’t think you can come away with just one. You learn so much about the process and the priorities with the shelter, fire and food
Why did you sign up for this experience?
It was an amazing opportunity and I feel so lucky to have had the chance to take part. I liked the stuff Bear did and I thought this experience would be completely different to anything I have ever done. You always think you are going to be a manly man until you are put in a situation where you have to be a manly man. I wanted to have an incredible experience in a country that I had never visited before and learn some new skills.
Dame Kelly Holmes
Double Olympic champion
Previous experience of outdoors camping: Camping with my parents and the military
Toughest challenge: Abseiling down a waterfall
Missed most: Nothing. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I wanted to make sure I enjoyed every minute
Best survival tips you learnt: Rope knots and how to light a fire
Why did you sign up to take part in this programme?
I have done so many great things since I retired but nothing where there was a physical element and I was really taken out of my comfort zone. I wanted to test myself
Phobias: No. I don’t fear anything
Previous experience of outdoors camping: A little bit of camping with my mates and fishing by the river
Toughest challenge: I loved all the challenges
Missed most: What I miss now are all the wonderful crew and jungle buddies!
Best survival tips you learnt: Don’t over think.
Why did you want to sign up for this?
I thought it would be a lot of fun – especially all the outdoor activities. I have always been a Bear Grylls fan. For me, doing this was an absolute no brainer. I really do respect Bear, I watch his show, I’ve watched his DVDs and I love what he does. I find him entertaining and I wanted to have a go.
Phobias: Spiders, birds, heights, water, horseriding
Previous experience of outdoors camping: None, hated the thought of it, I love my bed too much
Toughest challenge: Dealing with other people
Missed most: My beautiful daughters
Best survival tips you learnt: Trust in your ability to survive, and you will
Why did you decide to do this show?
It was such an amazing opportunity to do a show with Bear Grylls. I am such a home girl and thought this would be a wicked adventure. I wanted to prove myself and show my girls what I can do!
Phobias: Confined spaces
Previous experience of outdoors camping: Sleeping in various store rooms in Kenya
Missed most: My wife (Billie Piper) and children…and cigarettes
Found the experience: We were blessed with the most amazing team and we all kept each other’s spirits up
Why did you decide to sign up to this challenge?
As a relatively private person, it's not something that I would ordinarily do. Whilst having lunch with my cousin Emilia last year, I asked her what she was up to next. She mentioned Mission Survive. I won't say she forced, but let's say she gave me almost no option but to accompany her on the trip as she was having butterflies. A phone call was made, and here we are.
Phobias: Spiders and snakes
Previous experience of outdoors camping: Yes but never in such extreme conditions
Missed most: My daughter
Best survival tips you learnt: How important making a fire, shelter, knowledge of knots and good communication are
Why did you decide to do this show?
I love any opportunity to try something new and thought this would be a once in a lifetime chance where I would get the chance to learn about another country, another environment and about survival from someone as experienced in this area as Bear Grylls.