Monday, 14 January 2008

Les Stroud and Bear Grylls

What can I say - two very different approaches to the same subject, survival! I think that Les Stroud is great ( He spends 7 days out in a remote location lugging his own camera kit and filming himself. There is no camera crew (except on the first day) and no back up (except in an emergency) and he video diary's the jount, warts and all. If he screws up then he shows it. He is great fun to watch and very honest about what is happening. If you haven't seen any of his stuff then look out for him on Discovery Channel as Survivorman.

Bear Grylls is another thing entirely ( He caused a lot of controversy with a recent series of Man v Wild where he was accused of all sorts of fakery. His latest series at least acknowledges that he gets assistance, is occassionally provided with wild food for demonstration purposes etc. He is a likeable chap but I don't like his programmes. To me they are sensationalist and often promote dangerous courses of actions to the uninitiated. However, he is popular from a ratings point of view.

I do think that people have been extremely unfair to him. I do occassionally work behind the scenes in television and I know that there is a lot of 'fakery' going on in order to get the desired shot. This is not something that only Bear's production crew have done - others are just a guilty.

Like all these things, you have to make up your own mind. For me, it's Les all the way!

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Pablo said...

I agree Jon. It's a shame that Grylls appeared to be had over by his production crew who obviously wanted a bit of sensationalism to compete with RM's philosophical series.
You can't knock him for his charity work or being the youngest person to climb Everest.
I think he should have stuck with being an adventurer.

Jon said...

Totally! He is a bit naive for television in many ways but he is learning (I hope!).

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

'had over by his production crew' hmm its always a 'devil and the deep blue sea' moment when a presenter takes the tv companies money.

While i too felt a bit disappointed by the fakery i think he has an important role to play in tempting the MTV generation off the couch and into the big outdoors.

My 8 year old son was a bit tepid about ray mears, he loved Bear Grylls.
All the best

Jon said...

It's a good point SBW. The new series has more caveats and seems to be aimed more as entertainment which is fine in my book.

Previous series, I thought, have promoted potentially dangerous actions for the sake of 'good' TV!

In some ways though - any publicity (for the outdoors) is good publicity.

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