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Discovery 'Man vs. Wild' not so rough after all?

By Stone Martindale Jul 24, 2007, 20:17 GMT

Discovery 'Man vs. Wild' not so rough after all?

If you have never seen the show, each episode of MAN VS. WILD is based on real-life events where people fought for their survival after finding themselves in danger in popular wilderness locations.  A seasoned adventurer and former British Special Air Service soldier, Bear demonstrates the basic survival methods for specific locations -- including navigation, making fire and finding water and food -- and goes one step further.  As he ...more

The Discovery Channel is said to be re-evaluating one of its most popular series, "Man vs. Wild," after allegations surfaced that its survival-expert host Bear Grylls was staying in motels when he was supposed to be outoors roughing it.

The Hollywood Reporter claims Discovery issued a statement Monday in response to an investigation launched by British TV network Channel 4, which carries the program under the title "Born Survivor: Bear Grylls."

"Channel 4 confirmed that host Bear Grylls had partaken of indoor accommodations on at least two occasions when his series had depicted him spending the night in the wild."

"Discovery Communications has learned that isolated elements of the 'Man vs. Wild' show in some episodes were not natural to the environment, and that for health and safety concerns the crew and host received some survival assistance while in the field," the network said in a released statement.

The production company, Diverse Television, is cooperating with the Channel 4 investigation, which likely will address a range of allegations that question the show's authenticity.

A former British special forces soldier, Grylls is typically depicted as subsisting for several days without intervention while cameramen follow him offscreen.

THR reports that some charges made against Grylls is that a raft he is depicted as having built himself actually was constructed and then disassembled by consultants to the show in order for the host to put it together.

In another episode, Grylls "finds" wild horses that were said to be brought in from a trekking station.

Unscripted reality formats made the Discovery channel popular. "Wild" has emerged as one of its main attractions during the past two seasons.

"Moving forward, the program will be 100% transparent and all elements of the filming will be explained upfront to our viewers," Discovery said. "In addition, shows that are to be repeated will be edited appropriately. Bear Grylls is a world-class adventurer and a terrific talent."

Among the likely possibilities may be a disclaimer that will precede each episode explaining that some of the events being depicted are dramatized.

On July 13, Grylls spoke at the Television Critics Assn. (TCA) summer press tour in Beverly Hills about production of the series and described what it was like to bed down in the wild:

"Often at nighttime, they will get helicoptered out, and they might have to recharge camera batteries and hand in footage, and then they leave me a little minicamera for the night stuff, and they come and rejoin me in the morning," he said.

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If you have never seen the show, each episode of MAN VS. WILD is based on real-life events where people fought for their survival after finding themselves in danger in ...more

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