There used to be a phenomenon that sports photographers called “Kodak courage’’. It was applied to thrill seekers who stretched that extra yard, leapt a deeper chasm or climbed a steeper rock face than they would have done had they not had a camera lens trained on their every move.


Bear Grylls has lived out most of his adult life with a TV camera crew in tow. Thanks to them, we know he likes to live life on the edge – literally so, as anyone who last year saw him showing Louis Theroux around the precipitous cliff paths that surround his Welsh island home. Having watched nearly 20 years of Grylls doing whatever it takes to survive in the wild, it seems every bit of derring-do has been captured on film.

Of course, it takes a different sort of daring to explore your family history on television, as Bear does this week on Who Do You Think You Are? Who knows what skeletons will tumble out of the cupboard, what forgotten tragedies will induce unwanted tears, what embarrassments lie in the archives? It would have been completely understandable had such considerations been behind Grylls’s total refusal to take part in the programme before.

What convinced him to change his mind? Apparently his mother’s desire to discover whether the family had a royal connection buried in the past. Did he discover something to induce a glow of maternal pride? Read our interview in the latest issue of Radio Times magazine to discover more.

Andrew Marr has displayed another sort of courage altogether in mounting a recovery from a catastrophic stroke that threatened to finish his career – and his life. Ten years on, he’s now working harder than ever as a broadcaster, with a schedule that would exhaust someone half his age. Read about his recovery and his views on life after the BBC in another exclusive interview.

Bear Grylls Radio Times cover

Also in this week’s Radio Times:

  • Eight-time Oscar-winner Alan Menken, who’s written the music for many of Disney’s biggest films, including Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, discusses working with Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda for the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid
  • Jenny Eclair on the challenges she has faced in the comedy industry, being patronised and the welcome changes in comedy culture that have allowed for a more diverse range of voices
  • Rebecca Ferguson tells us about her transition from films to TV, her fascination with the post-apocalyptic world portrayed in show Silo and her newfound role as an executive producer
  • Sir David Attenborough and Mike Gunton, co-producer of Apple TV+ series Prehistoric Planet 2, on how the “bonkers” programme blends art and science to bring dinosaurs back to life

Who Do You Think You Are? returns on Thursday 1st June at 9pm on BBC One. Check out more of our Documentaries coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.


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