Does Bear Grylls Have Proper Table Manners? We Asked Him.

We caught up with the 48-year-old ahead of the July 25 premiere of "Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge” on National Geographic

July 22, 2022 7:33 am
“Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge” premieres on July 25.
Bear Grylls has gotten little more primal over the years.
National Geographic/Ben Simms

During a 2016 episode ofWild with Bear Grylls, retired Super Bowl champ Marshawn Lynch appeared on the show and, among other things, allowed his host to fashion a fire from his dreadlocks, which the pair then proceeded to use to roast a wild hog that’d previously plunged off a cliff in France’s Corsican Mountains.

Now, about six years later, Grylls looks back fondly at the time he spent with Lynch as he looks forward to the premiere of Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge, which will feature guest stars including Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher and Simu Liu, on July 25 on National Geographic. “I’m not a big American football guy, so he was a new one for me and I didn’t know what to expect. It was like two nations divided by a common language. But what a cool guy. We had such fun,” Grylls tells InsideHook.

Grylls and Lynch had such a good time that the idea of new series featuring the pair traveling the world and having adventures was floated by network executives, but it never came to fruition. “Maybe that’s one to revisit, but I think it might have broken me,” Grylls says with a laugh.

Even without that show on his plate, the father-of-three still has his hands full filming in the United Kingdom, U.S. and other locations around the world for a number of different wilderness survival series. The more time Grylls spends in the wild working, the harder it is for him to adjust back to being a member of polite society when he’s back at home.

“I’m getting worse. I’m definitely becoming more primal over the years,” he says. “I do like to eat with my hands and lick the plate. It drives my wife nuts. I have to be a bit better behaved when she’s watching. I eat a lot of meat, a lot of organs and a lot of liver. I like those things. If I had my way, I’d only eat with my hands, always outside.”

Occasionally starstruck by the guests that join him in the wilderness, Grylls has learned over the years that being on the move in the wild is a great equalizer. “When we’re focused and we’re moving, there’s no time for nerves. It’s like, ‘Grab this, we’ve gotta go.’ When we’re in the moment, I find I’m in my kind of space,” he says. “We keep these journeys a million miles an hour and pretty short because there’s that great energy. We want it to be a whirlwind of adventure, adrenaline, fun, and fear and leave them on a high.”

Getting guests to experience that high is Grylls’s job and, despite how it looks on TV, he says it’s actually an easy one.

“The wild does so much of my job for me,” Grylls says. “It rewards courage and determination and being committed and facing some fears. I think it also opens up great conversations and honest talks. People can share the struggles and the triumphs they’ve have had in their lives. How you tackle the storms of life is a state of mind. Adventure is a state of mind. Having that adventurous, never-give-up spirit counts for everything.”

And if that spirit wavers and needs to be bolstered by Grylls dispensing handfuls of Skittles, which happened with notorious candy lover Lynch, so be it. “Sometimes in the wild, it’s whatever it takes,” Grylls says.


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