24 Facts: Bear Grylls

1.  His claim to fame is that he became the youngest person to reach the tip of Mount Everest in 1998 at the age of 23. He made it into the Guinness book of records but his record has since been broken - four times.

2. Shockingly (not really), his name is not actually Bear. His real name is Edward Michael Grylls.

3.  His only sibling Lara gave him the nickname "Bear" when he was just a week old.

4.  He has a black belt in karate.

5.  He served three years with the British Special Air Service (21 SAS).

6.  It was with the SAS that he was trained in evasive driving, parachuting, demolitions, trauma medic, unarmed combat and jungle warfare. At least it paid off.

7.  A year before climbing Mount Everest, Grylls broke his back in three places in a free-fall parachuting accident.

8.  His first book, Facing Up went into the top 10 best-seller list in Britain- it was also later launched in the USA titled, The kid who climbed Mount Everest.

9.  Has written 11 books since, including four teenage fiction books about survival titled Mission Survival.

10.  His 1st TV break came when he was approached to star in an advert for Sure for Men deodorant featuring the story of his Mount Everest summit.

11.  The first major TV series he starred in was for Channel four, called Escape to the legion, where he went through simulated basic training with legionnaires in North Africa.

12.  After this he was commissioned to present 12 episodes, an hour each, for a novel TV format called Man VS Wild on Discovery Channel.

13.  Man VS Wild went on to become No 1 cable show in all of America, reaching a global audience of over 1.2 bn viewers, in over 200 countries.

14.  In 2007, he led an attempt to become the first man to fly a powered paraglider to a height above the world’s highest peak - his efforts raised $2.4m for various charities.

15.  He has released a Man VS Wild Xbox, Playstation and Wii game with Discovery Channel.

16.  While raising funds for charities in 2007, he got into trouble after it came to light that he and his camera crew spend their nights in luxurious hotel rooms, rather than camping in the wild as his show depicted. The show was taken off the air and returned with a disclaimer: "Bear Grylls and the crew receive support when they are in potentially life threatening situations, as required by health and safety regulations."  

17.  Grylls has consumed raw frozen yak eyeballs, camel intestine juice, raw goat testicles, a live snake, maggots as big as a hand, pulsating with yellow pus, and a giant live spider as part of his show.

18.  His favourite TV show as a kid was unsurprisingly (unlike his food tastes) MacGyver and The A-team.

19.  He was appointed Chief Scout by the Scout association at the age of 35 in 2009. He became the youngest person ever to hold this position making him the Chief Representative for millions of scouts around the world.

20.  Some of the injuries he has suffered over the years include crushed shoulders, a  sliced finger, a broken elbow, a smashed knee cartilage, a broken big toe, a chipped shin bone, a dislocated hip as well as various bites from snakes, bats, scorpions and 4 319 mosquitoes (apparently he's into details).

21.  He attended prestigious British school, Eton College. Enough said.

22. In 1997, he also became the youngest Briton to climb the iconic Mount Ama Dablam in the Himalayas (6858m), a peak once described by Sir Edmund Hillary as "Unclimbable". Over-achieving much?

23. 90 days – the number of days it took for him to reach the top of Mount Everest.

24.  This guy is actually married with two kids. His son already saved a life at the age of seven when he rescued a girl who was drowning in a pool.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24