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The Island with Bear Grylls proves modern life has left us completely inept

There is little doubt that I, and most of the rest of us, would perish really rather quickly if left to fend for ourselves, says Ellie Walker-Arnott

Published: Tuesday, 6th May 2014 at 10:46 am

Last night Bear Grylls left 13 British men on a remote island in the middle of the nowhere – a remote island teeming with deadly snakes, snappy crocodiles and absolutely nothing that looks like fresh drinking water – before the renowned survivalist, whose past escapades include drinking his own urine, munching on lava and sleeping inside dead animals, smugly sailed off to what we can only assume was a luxury resort on a nearby peninsula.


While he sipped mojitos (again, we are reading between the lines here) his poor guinea pigs were left to fend for themselves for 28 days on the island with only a few knives for company.

Now it’s important that I point out that this island, edged with stretches of picture-perfect white sand, didn’t look like some sort of hellhole. It looked like somewhere I’d quite fancy going on holiday.

I’d get a proper good tan on that island, I said. I could just see myself, complete with a beachy hair do and flattering bikini sipping a cold cocktail while feasting on fresh fish.

But oh how wrong I was. Honestly. Unless there just happened to be an instant BBQ (and a lighter) hidden under one of those mangroves and a Tesco Express around the corner, I’d be screwed.

And really, a fish supper would be the least of my worries. There is little doubt that I, and most of the rest of us, would perish really rather quickly if left to fend for ourselves. Yes, we might have a good tan. But we’d be dead within days.

It took 13 dangerously dehydrated men almost TWO days to light a fire so that they could boil some frankly vile looking water that they found in a stagnant puddle. And they’d had survival training. I struggle to light a scented candle with one of those extra long matches for crying out loud.

Watching The Island it became alarmingly apparent that we've all gotten soft. We are so used to being able to Google the answer to any and every dilemma, we don’t actually know stuff. I’m not sure I even retain important information anymore – my SmartPhone is like my long-term memory.

Forget setting traps or fishing – let alone being responsible for actually killing my own dinner – I panicked that I might starve when I realised Sainsbury’s shut early yesterday because it was a bank holiday.

Modern life has left us completely inept. And The Island reveals our shortcomings in an alarming way. 

Now, people of Britain, I’m not saying it’s likely that Bear Grylls will turn up at your flat and cart you off to a remote island, but just in case, we’d better start taking note… 

The Island with Bear Grylls continues on Mondays at 9:00pm on Channel 4. 

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