Bear Grylls: I want to be the next David Attenborough – but with more adventure

The TV survivalist's next mission is conquering David Attenborough's territory - but his documentaries won't be "dry", he tells Radio Times

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Bear Grylls would like to follow in the footsteps of David Attenborough – but with more action sequences.

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“If it’s just natural history, it can be a bit dry,” he says in this week’s edition of Radio Times. “When Attenborough was 25 it was totally not dry because it was totally new, but to do something for young people now, it needs that adventure, I think, to inspire them.”

Grylls’ latest series for ITV, Britain’s Biggest Adventures with Bear Grylls, attempts do just that. The former SAS trooper explores the natural history of the British Isles, filling viewers in on the local geology and ecology while para-gliding, rappelling and diving off cliffs.

He continued: “I have a sneaky suspicion that these shows are going to do, accidentally, really well. If you look at the success of the Attenborough stuff, and Coast over the years, and some of the adventure stuff we’ve done, I think this is a really smart, simple, uncomplicated combination of all those things.”

Grylls also defended his decision to leave his son, Jesse, stranded on a rocky outcrop off the coast of Abersoch in North Wales in August. The adventurer faced criticism when he posted a picture of the 12-year-old playing the part of a distressed child in an RNLI training drill. 

“They asked me to do the exercise, they took the pictures, and all of the local RNLI love it,” he said.

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Read the full interview with Bear Grylls in this week’s Radio Times, available to buy from Tuesday 8th September and from the shops and online newsstand