Is Running Wild with Bear Grylls Scripted?

Bear Grylls is the face of several adventure-themed reality shows that pushes the boundaries of survival, such as ‘Man vs. Wild’ and ‘The Island with Bear Grylls.’ ‘Running Wild with Bear Grylls’ is one such show where Grylls takes along different celebrities on an adventure. In his 2007 interview with the Outside magazine, Grylls revealed that parts of ‘Man vs. Wild’ were staged. Naturally, this has also raised questions about how real is ‘Running Wild with Bear Grylls,’ especially since it involves famous personalities who may not be as adventurous as they seem. If you have similar doubts regarding the show, we are here to help you settle that once and for all.

Is Running Wild with Bear Grylls Scripted?

Even though the production team prepares in advance to film an episode, the experiences of the guest celebrities are absolutely real. After Bear Grylls’s other television series faced criticism for seeming staged, the British adventurer stated that he would like to be more transparent about how his shows are made. In this spirit of honesty, he admitted that certain aspects of the series might not be as spontaneous as the viewers are led to believe.


Bear Grylls said that before he takes a celebrity on an excursion, he usually talks to them to understand if they have any particular place in mind that they would like to go to. After this, a team including local rangers are sent out to scout the potential site of excursion. Then they share their findings with Grylls which helps him get an idea of the route and a few interesting things there that could enhance the experience of the guest celebrity joining him. Following this, Grylls also scouts the area, mostly by helicopter. However, the team does not to get into the specifics so that they can keep things spontaneous and remain flexible with their plans. It is possible that they are faced with unforeseen factors such as bad weather or someone is too scared to go through a particular experience. Grylls also shared that a small production crew follows them. There are only four people for the camera and sound, each of whom is accompanied by a guide for their safety.

Grylls has also been honest that, at times, his team has had to place animal carcasses in their route, which means that he and his guest don’t always “find” something. However, there could be various reasons for doing this. For example, animal cruelty laws in the UK are strict so his team does not kill any animals there. Another example is the Iceland episode that features Rob Riggle. Grylls’s team had to place a moose head because there was a very slim chance of finding anything to eat in the area. The production team also puts a tracker on the carcass so that Grylls can find it easily. Nevertheless, it always makes an unforgettable story.

In another interview, Grylls said that they do have a few things to ensure safety, such as using the satellite phone. While these details may prove that the show is not as spontaneous as we are led to believe, it also does not mean that the show is fake. In fact, these aspects enhance the quality of the series as it proves to be safe without compromising on the drama and excitement. One of the reasons why the series is loved by he viewers is that it takes famous people way out of their comfort zones.

Several celebrities have spoken about their adventure on the show, which confirm that the series is authentic. You may remember Brie Larson talking about it on ‘The Ellen Show.’ She shared how at first she thought that the crocodile she came across wasn’t real because she didn’t expect it to be. But when the actress learned it was the real deal, she was genuinely frightened. Tom Arnold was a part of the first season, and he told Starrymag that he would not have been a part of the show in a “million years” had he known in advance the risk it would entail. He also pointed out how different his experience on the show was as compared to filming stunt sequences where the actors are well-rehearsed and they use safety cables. However, his experience on the show was nothing like that because it “actually was scary.”

Therefore, while Bear Grylls and his team are somewhat prepared for the excursion, no one knows precisely how it will turn out, including the guests on the show. But Grylls is happy to be a part of the adventure for the celebrities since the spontaneity and the risk is what most of them seem to enjoy.

Read More: Best Survival TV Shows