Former SAS Officer and star of Born Survivor Bear Grylls has topped our Radio Times Travel poll to find the best TV adventurer. The action man’s new show Running Wild with Bear Grylls is currently airing in the US. It sees Grylls take celebrities including Zac Efron, Channing Tatum and Ben Stiller into the wilderness, where they face their fears and attempt nerve-wracking challenges. Countryfile presenter and Castaway star Ben Fogle was runner-up in the poll, which had more than 4,000 votes. Fogle’s Harbour Lives, in which he re-discovers his hometown of Poole by sea, land and air, is currently airing on ITV. Ray Mears, dubbed a ‘real’ survivalist and serious bushcraft specialist (without gimmicks or trickery), came third.
Meanwhile, Australia’s fearless wildlife expert and conservationist Steve Irwin, who was killed by a stingray whilst filming a documentary in 2006, was voted fourth in the poll, ahead of BBC travellers Kate Humble and Simon Reeve – who recently joined an Australian fire brigade as they put out giant flames in the bush.
Double Olympic Gold medallist James Cracknell, whose adventures since retiring from rowing include racing to the South Pole and across the Atlantic; the first man to walk the length of the Amazon, Ed Stafford; nature expert and poisonous snake handler Nigel Marven; and Travel Channel presenter and motorbike enthusiast Henry Cole complete the top 10 adventurer list.
See below for the full top 10 entries in our TV adventurer poll.
1. Bear Grylls – 1277 votes (31.2%)
2. Ben Fogle –712 votes (17.3%)
3. Ray Mears – 606 votes (14.8%)
4. Steve Irwin – 490 votes (11.9%)
5. Kate Humble – 391 votes (9.55%)
6. Simon Reeve – 340 votes (8.3%)
7. James Cracknell – 146 votes (3.56%)
8. Ed Stafford – 66 votes (1.61%)
9. Nigel Marven – 32 votes (0.7%)
10. Henry Cole – 32 votes (0.7%)