John Walker's Electronic House

Shock Horror Man Vs Wild Faked Shock!

by on Jul.23, 2007, under The Rest

Deeply peculiar news story, following on from the debacle I mentioned would get bigger and stupider back in March. Channel 4 are being forced to investigate claims that Bear Grylls’ Man Vs Wild is faked. Something I mentioned a couple of days back.

I had no idea it was also shown on Channel 4 – normally Discovery crossovers go to the Beeb. Apparently called “Born Survivor” in this isle, the list of complaints an alleged crew member took to the Sunday Times are nothing more than the information that’s been in the public domain for a long time, and listed on the Wikipedia page about the show.

Channel 4 are responding by saying they’ll investigate, but also making the rather silly claim: “The programme explicitly does not claim that presenter Bear Grylls’ experience is one of unaided solo survival.” Except of course, it explicitly does, with each episode beginning with Grylls’ announcement that, “I won’t have much with me. Just a knife, a water bottle, and a flint to make fire. A camera crew will follow me every step of the way.” In a couple of later episodes he points out that the crew will not become involved unless he’s in danger of death.

The point remains, it doesn’t matter. Of course it’s not real – it cannot be. It’s simply impossible, unless all his remarkable feats are also possible while carrying expensive and heavy camera equipment, along with all the necessary spare tapes and dozens of replacement batteries. And of course, if that were the case, they should flipping well be filming the camera guy, and not pussy Grylls and his empty pockets.

What’s most frustrating is the lack of effort by anyone in this “news” story. That no one at either the Sunday Times or the BBC bothered to read the Wiki entry before pontificating is humiliating. What’s even more annoying is that they never will, and the story will only ever have begun here.

Hey though – you got the exclusive here, newshounds.

7 Comments for this entry

  • Steve W

    I was amazed to discover yesterday that every single episode of Studio 60 was faked. I know! Matt and Danny aren’t even real producers; turns out they’re a couple of “actors” hired to play those parts. Matt and Danny aren’t even their real names.



    In other news, pilots for (amongst others) Reaper, Aliens in America, Mad Men and The Sarah Connor Chronicles have dribbled through to the Usual Places over the last few days. Amazingly, not all of them all are awful.

  • John

    I’ve seen Reaper and Chuck, with Ultimate Opinions to come shortly, once I’ve watched Sarah Connor and Californication. And Mad Men, and whatever Aliens In America is. Also Greek.

  • John

    And Pushing Daisies.

  • Steve W

    Ah, I couldn’t find Chuck when I looked for it the other day. I’ll have another look tonight.

    Aliens in America is a 22-minute sitcom about an unpopular kid who becomes even more unpopular (yet finally finds friendship) when – cue hilarity – his family accidentally take in a foreign Muslim exchange student instead of the Aryan jock they ordered. It’s not as sweet as should have been.

    Also: Derren Brown in “Not Really Superpowered Mutant Mindreading Freak Who Should Be Dissected” Shock!

    Sorry. Couldn’t help myself. But don’t be surprised if you see that one popping up in your newsreader soon.

  • Rev. S Campbell

    I do hate the pathetic, smug, defeatist cynicism of the “everybody knows” crowd.

    “Oh, everybody knows MPs are corrupt, so why make a fuss if they take bribes to pass a law?”

    “Oh, everybody knows fruit machines offer ‘gambles’ where you’re pre-determined to always lose, so what’s wrong with them lying to steal your money?”

    “Oh, everybody knows you get a peerage for donating to political parties, so don’t waste your time investigating whether people can simply buy their way into the government of the nation.”

    Lying is wrong. It’s ALWAYS wrong, and it’s always BEEN wrong. (I’m pretty sure I remember someone saying something about “bearing false witness” a couple of thousand years back.) And pointless lying about silly TV shows is the worst, because it casually devalues the whole concept of truth for nothing, creating ever more apathy and cynicism. And my, couldn’t we all do with a whole lot more apathy and cynicism in the world, eh?

    Why do we need to be lied to? Would the show really be so much worse if we saw the camera crew helping out in the occasional tricky situation? Are we all such children that we have to believe in fairytales in order to enjoy something?

    Fuck all liars, and their apologists along with them.

  • John

    I completely agree.

    My mistake in writing this was not to make that point. My point was that it’s insane of someone to think they *weren’t* being lied to by a show that’s literally impossible if it were telling the truth. It’s such an obvious lie that to pretend it’s a revelation when someone reports the deception is Bad News. And that’s my point. That the show is lying is not acceptable.

    My point in the original post is that: everything on TV is a lie. This show included. Spotting the lie, realising the hoax, frees you to enjoy the truths that remain in this programme – Bear’s genuine stunts and the remarkable dangers he does face.

  • Deskbound

    From TFA:

    “The broadcaster said Grylls carried out his own stunts and did place himself in perilous situations, “though he does so within clearly-observed health and safety guidelines required on productions of this kind”.”

    “I’m now going to jump off this 50 foot cliff into a creek full of hungry alligators in order to reach the only supply of food within 100 miles. I shall, of course, be wearing safety goggles in accordance with paragraph 7 subsection B of the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974, as a failure to do so could result in prosecution of my employer.”