Bear Grylls a fraud?

TV ‘survival king’ stayed in hotels – Times Online

“But an adviser to Born Survivor has disclosed that at one location where the adventurer claimed to be a “real life Robin-son Crusoe” trapped on “a desert island”, he was actually on an outlying part of the Hawaiian archipelago and spent nights at a motel.”

I was always a bit suspicious of Mr ‘Bear’ Grylls (just why did he call himself Bear?), and wondered whether he really was out there all alone at night, I mean in some cases it was pretty dangerous, especially in ‘Bear Country’. Nevertheless I enjoyed the programme.

Now it turns out that he may actually have stayed in hotels and:

‘…..he actually slept some nights with the crew in a lodge fitted with television and internet access. The Pines Resort at Bass Lake is advertised as “a cosy getaway for families” with blueberry pancakes for breakfast.’

Blueberry pancakes? Hardly the constant battle against hunger that was implied in the programme. To be fair though the filming probably takes place over several days, if not longer so it is inevitable that he will spend some of that eating normally and in some kind of comfort. He can’t spend all that time half starving in the wilderness, but he could at least make more of an effort to rough it, even Ray Mears’ film crew sleeps rougher than that.

Ray Mears must be rubbing his hands in glee now that the pretender to his throne of ‘Survival King’ seems to have been exposed as a bit of a nancy boy. It is mentioned several times that Bear Grylls served in the SAS, but let’s not forget that it was Ray Mears that taught the SAS everything that they know. Well perhaps not everything, but he certainly taught the SAS survival skills during the 1980s and 90s. Bear may well have been one of his students. Ray Mears is clearly the genuine article.

I watched the programme in the Sierra Nevada, where he killed a rabbit or a hare by throwing a large stick at it’s head and smashing the animals skull in. I thought that was excellent and a great shot, now I wondering whether the rabbit was in fact already dead and the event was just cleverly edited with a great sound effect.

As I said I enjoyed the programme but now that doubts have been placed in my mind I am probably going to spend the rest of the next series, assuming that there is one, wondering what is real and what is staged. A shame really.

151 responses to “Bear Grylls a fraud?

  1. I joined “off the street” in 1966 when 23 was based in Thorpe street in Birmingham city centre,.first man I met was Paddy Nugent (CSM) and while I waited for the M.O to give me a medical I was given an SLR and told to run around inside the building and by the time the M.O arrived I was on my knees! I was issued with basic kit and by the weekend was doing the fan dance with another guy from Leeds.It took me weeks to get my fitness to anything like a decent standard and I enjoyed every bloody minute of it.I doubt that even with the training I was forcing on myself I would have been bloody fortunate to pass selection for 22SAS.I was lucky to meet and work with some of the best people I have ever met in my 65 years and I will always be a big fan of any man who is prepared to have a go at selection.To those who have not tried and only have an opinion about it fair enough but you will never be one of the Pilgrims master!!

  2. you are really a just right webmaster. The web site loading speed is amazing.

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  3. Bear makes excellent TV shows regardless.If you where in 22 SAS why not make your own TV show,otherwise stop bitching about stuff that does not matter.If you want to talk about frauds do a search for Bob Spour.

  4. fuck ups

  5. I Served In 23 Sas For 18 Years And Although Only A Reserve Or Ta Unit I Was Proud Of What Was Achieved By Myself And My Mates, Because At The End Of The Day Thats What Keeps You There, After All The Gucci Courses And Fancy Kit Its Your Mates You Stay In For, And As For All The People On This Website That Say Either 21 Or 23 Are Not Worth A Toss The Answer Is Here On This Forum Go Try The Course, Go Pass The Course And Come Back And Tell People Like Me Its Not Worth A Damm. I Made Some Of The Best Friends You Could Ever Wish For And Shared Some Times You Wished You Didnt, Looking Back I Would Do It All Again Tomorrow,(But My Body Couldnt Do It Now), Some Of The Best Times In My Life Were Spent Wearing The Fawn Brown Beret And Sky Blue Stable Belt, And In The Words Of The Legion No Regrets.

  6. Shane Mcgonagle

    He stays in hotels after the show is finished yeah actually sleeps outside all those nights. When the show is finished he might go to a hotel because he’s entitled to it!!!!!!!’

  7. Not fake retard

    @OP. Your dumb. He is not fake. Where are you going to find a hotel in the middle of nowhere? And the Heli’s not going to go out 2 times a day to pick him up and drop him off.

  8. My dad served in 22 sas jimmy ladner mm greatest regiment going total respect for regular and ta and.reserve units its very hard to earn wear biege beret and sas winged dagger

    • i also knew of jimmy ladner a true gent and will always be remembered by me as the best of the best your brother andy

      • Heather Jane Bailey

        Do you know more about Jimmy Ladner – is he still alive? or how can I contact him? Any information about him would be appreciated.
        Please get in touch by replying to me via email:

        Many thanks in advance


    • Heather Jane Bailey

      Hi Steve,
      In your comment to ‘Bear Grylis a fraud?’ topic, on August 2, 2013 at 11:28 pm you’ve mentioned that Jimmy Ladner (ex SAS) was your dad.
      Did I understand this right? Please get in touch for a very interesting revelation.

      • Yes he was my dad joseph james ladner mm **A sqdn 22 sas sadly passed away with dimentia in jan this year a hero to the end love to hear any storys about him my email not working properly so will read any messages from ya via this site cheers heather

      • Hi Heather I am Amanda Ladner..Jimmy Ladner was my dad. My brother has asked me to contact you as his email is not working. Please email me at

      • Heather – I wrote you an email. My dad was in Malaya with Jimmy in the 1950s.

    • You don’t know me Steve but your dad was a great guy and soldier I was in Same sqd when he was in Malaya where he received MM . .he was only NCO with his own troop at the time . .
      All the best . you had a great dad and must be proud of him !!

      • Cheers mate for your kind words about dad yes i am proud of him and will always be proud to be linked to best regiment in world 22 sas i met loads of his mates who served every one a humble person but real heroes in my eyes malaya was the hardest campaign for 22 as they had to showthe country what they were capable of instead they showed the world they were the best nice to hear from a old jungle fighter stay lucky steve ex li

  9. Here’s the facts. i completed 23 sas selection in 1983 and i was considered an exceptionally fit young man with regular military experience . I commend any civilian who completes selection for ta SAS i commend them highly. however completing 22 SAS is a different ball game that’s why ta SAS cannot pass 22 selection other thsn a very minority. that’s. facts. But once again i congratulate any civilian who completes ta SAS its a very difficult process but although the long drag is the same there’s more to 22 selection than a 40 mile hike.

  10. what’s the hell is the matter with you all, you are all bitching like a set of ‘puffs’. We now have TA MPs from 21 SAS now, what the SAS has become is SAS SS, then rest of the British Army have no respect for you any more, you are a load of cock sucker these days!

    • are you actually ex forces mr reed i some how think not i myself s
      pent a few years in green jackets so know what it takes to make 22 sas and 23 sas of which i would never have made as for you you would find it hard to run for bus in my opinion someone sitting in their house thinking everything they see looks easy as for your comments an insult to brave people coming from one of todays keyboard warriors

  11. at17 iwalked into23 sas and told them I was 21 .I forged my irish birth cert .I spent 1966 67.getting fit in the beacons and did a few jumps .great fun and food. paddy nugent kept me inspired with his irish wit .I saw the light and left for aussie .don’t get caught up in these so called elite special forces careers. every country has a so called special soldier. get a real job as a house painter or bricklayer or ambulance driver. humanity will be better off. paddy nugent knew I was just there for the quick adventure.he loved his job and laughted at me pretending I was 21. a good irish soldier who inspired me

  12. it’s a tv show
    do you complain that any other tv show is fake
    the main goal of the TV show is to make money
    and Bear Grylls is not a fraud
    no questions asked
    bad luck all of you tough, rough survivors curled up with a rug, cup of tea and biscuit before bedtime in the city you have never left

  13. the biggest set of dead heads, are B Sqn at Leeds, they are intimidating old ex regular Servicemen, by parking out side of his house on motor bikes! they are so thick, these days, these bikes have registration marks. These cretins that they send have leaders, who are not worth feeding, the SAS are shit these days, its in the pudding, they take Tory MPs has Officers?

  14. In the 60s rsq 22sas could be active ll mounths of the year. hardly part time.

  15. what pisses me off is that Chris Ryan is commenting badly and very negative in public about Bear Grylls

    Chris Ryan is the one who is showing off in public not Bear Grylls.

    The thing here is that SAS have to swear they keep this for themselfs that they have been fighting for the SAS and never go out in public telling they were with the SAS.

    This is out of security reasons. So the fact that perhaps even both men are showing off makes their stories beyond believe.

    An ex SAS doesnt want that much attention.

    Chris Ryan is begging for attention. He is only satisfied by getting attention while he is throwing around that he was with the SAS and that they shot people etc etc.

    That is rediculous

    So for me it is all fake. People dont want to know all that. they are not interested in it. But when you want to sell a book or a movie then you need a different pedigree You need a sales person who is just talking and talking so people believe the story and are tricked

    I want to watch that movie: it will cost me money

    I want to read that book also: it will cost me money

    Money thats what this shite is all about
    And where does the money go? to help injured veterans? No way! it slips right in the pockets of those Fake SAS morons

  16. Its a born survival guide…..of course he is not going to sleep out there and starve….why should he….you obviously are the type of person who believe everything he sees on tv and everything he reads on the internet.

  17. deepmita bardhan

    Stupid.. stop ur bloody imagination.i think u r thinking a lot about ua” pancakes” and hotels in jungles, desert or ice. I think ir dad has built hotels and motels for bear gryls.. ashole u wld hv thought before doing this publicity staunts… u crap rather den investigating how real he ishet up and do smthing in ur lyf.. idiot of the era..

  18. Half of you guys are tossers and half are the could have should have didnts ..get a grip and as for post from 23 prick from hamilton shut your mouth and soldier on should know better your apparent stated position require more tact and for any serving nut bag on here its about unit and the country not your personal ego ..fucking embarrassing can tell none of you fuckers are real sas …hats of to the reg and fuck the rest of you girl guides.

  19. Those in the know will read the Minerva post
    Too many misconceptions, and Lofty still owes me for breaking a window when he stayed, happy days.

  20. I was in the Duke of Yorks Barracks same time as Bear, but different Fight Club. Bear joined with the full intention of of been a Survival Expert on TV, that was his main job obviously.
    The TA is a great place for picking up skills and i very much doubt any one would pass in to a unit so tough without already having a great reason to do so, unless he just wanted to kill someone?

  21. Bear Grylls is a bellend.

  22. Ray meats was still a pimple on his fathers neck when the regiment you speak of was in Malaya in 50 s on ops of three months chasing terrorists ! Grylls was only TA . Never served with 22 .and as lofty Wiseman R.I.P who was there mentioned once that mears could not survive locked in Tescos !!

  23. I’m here after tiring of way too much nonsense and what to me is clear bullshit from Mr Gryll’s. I’ll bet those here defending him are people who don’t want their bubble burst and probably wear combat outfits in their daily lives?
    Even without a little intuitive discernment there is plenty of material out there exposing Mr Gryll’s as being a dramatist and in some cases downright misleading.
    Then there is some of the “advice” he spouts which is clearly bad and in some cases dangerous. For instance, anyone who thinks plumbing the base of a waterfall with a rope is to establish its safe to jump in is clearly giving dangerous advice. There are lots of examples of stupid advice, but it seems the “wow” factor of such advice is what is important? I cite “rectal rehydration” as one such ridiculous, impractical and dangerous practice, pointlessly included as a survival process, but high in the drama stakes for its “shock” value.
    I guess the pressure is to deliver more and more dramatic effect? At that point we should use our intellect and dismiss it as “show business”. Truth and rigour are lost and the real agenda is bare for all to see.
    Apparently the genuine survival communities dislike him intensely, mostly for consistently bad advice. I for one have had enough of the theatricals …

  24. David Stirling formed SAS during wwii, 1st regt and 2nd regt or something. 21 and 22 were formed as a play on the numbers, said as two one and two two, not twenty one or twenty two. two three were the next yeomanry type regiment. My dad was part of D squadron 23sas based at blairgowrie in scotland. he told me part of the selection course at that time back in the 70’s 80’s over hills in the glen clova area. sheer up and down but still walkable. he went to kenya , denmark, w.germany, all as a detterent to w.pact . denmark was to test their regular army in defence, so i wouldnt say 23 or 21 was to be considered a soft option. Sadly my dad is nearing the end of his journey, if anyone who knew Capt or Acting Maj DGG at Blairgowrie, feel free to contact me.

    • Hi every one i will be down on parade on 13 nov this year to honour all our brave service personal wearing dads mm and medals also a great honour for me one of the old and bold will be with me marley carter mid 22 sas a legend in my eyes and one of dads good mates 82 now but still well any ex sas about doing nothing pop to gunners to see marley great old sas vet

  25. Bear grylls never served in the regiment which is 22 he was a weekend warrior in 21 Ta , both him and ray mears could not survive a night locked in. Tesco,s

  26. Passed my selection at 21 in 1972, even helped run selection some years later, also completed R Sqn selection but realised after some 6 years that the thrill and toughness of training does not necessarily make you a good enough soldier, some of our Psi’s from 22 were great blokes and I realised that I could not be equal to them in certain situations. Physically I was fine and would take myself off for 5 days to places like Plylymon in the snow with just my gear and rations to train for e&e’s. So passing and being a sabre Sqn trooper still does not qualify you as A Sas soldier without those extra bits of something.

  27. 22 sas regiment was finest jungle fighters in Malaya through years of experience in 50 s our initial tour was 3 months in the ulu carrying two weeks rations plus rifle ammo and personal equipment so bergens was in excess of 100 lbs some weighing in at 120 in 64 weight was reduced to 50 as to fight with such a large weight was difficult , as chin Peng told CT s avoid men with large packs!!

    • I took sum going i bet dad jimmy ladner / always said took all day to travel a couple hundred metres jungle that dense always wet nackered tired a proper feild Soldiers war bet if ya never had sense of humour yawud crack up well done mate wat yu andcomrades in sas regt did the old and bold never die they reorg in hell steve ladner

  28. See there see one or two ex 23/21 members on here.Was 23 myself, PSI’s Lofty Large.Smoky Robinson. Major Thomas Captain Whittle ( OC A Squadron ) Thorpe Street .Mention these to silence the doubters.
    Served for five years.Part of selection in Cspe Wrath.Para Course at Abingdon PJI Davy Francombe.
    Lot of nonsense talked on this site about 21/23.
    Just tried to to our best for each other and our country.It was tough, not as tough as it was for 22 who we did try to emulate and support.7
    People who deride 21/23 just show their ignorance so just shut it!
    Any ex 23/21 members out there?Be good to hear from you.

  29. lol
    Yes ‘Bear’ is like David Blaine …if you take enough video—you’ll get amazing foootage…the drama is in the edit—hanging from helicopters looks even more impressive with the right angle and lens….

    A bit like Seagal’s CIA stories,Grylls exaggerating his time in the U.K. Terratorial Army (or not correcting others) to Pro SAS status helps to complete the “drama”

    I guess it’s TV📺 at the end of the day

    You plant the seeds and Humans will invent the stories…look at how we interact with Social Media…it convinced a number of people that Trump was ‘a man of his word’…and The US Apprentice convinced others that he was a Businessman!

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