Recently Bear Grylls, the survival expert, survived a grilling by Jonathan Ross, the controversial but amusing chat show host who sees the funny side of everything whether it is funny or not.
Jonathan could not understand how Bear could enjoy what he does - showing people how to survive in some of the toughest parts of the planet. Bear tried to explain.
"It's kind of what I do. I was trained to do it. I was trained in survival techniques. "
"You like doing it?" asked Jonathan incredulously
"I love it. You know, I'd be completely unemployable at anything sensible. I come alive out there. "
They looked at footage showing Bear being placed down on the rim of a live volcano which looked very hot indeed.
Jonathan dropped his voice to a puzzled whisper.
"What's the best that can happen to you on a live volcano? The best that can happen to you. You get out in one piece. Right? That's not my idea of a nice day out!
"Say they drop you there. There's no shops. Right? There's nowhere you can relax? You're not going to meet any one? What are you doing out there?"
Bear admitted that the survival shows could be pretty miserable - you're cold; you're wet and you're lost but the minute it is all over, you are back on a nice club class ticket home and can then enjoy family life with your wife and kids making fairy cakes and so on.
Jonathan still did not understand the motivation behind Bear's life of extremes:
"But then you go off and you do more. Let's talk about the food you eat when you are out there. I've seen you put some unusual things in your mouth. OK! What's the strangest thing you've eaten to survive on one of your shows? What's the weirdest thing?"
"I was in Iceland when I found a dead sheep and ending up eating its eye ball. "
"I imagine that would be quite tasty. "
"I always thought it would be a bit like a hard boiled egg. But actually when I bit into it, it was just blood and gristle and it, like, exploded. My cameraman was looking at me with disgust on his face as he was filming it. "
"Are you sure you grabbed it from the right end of the sheep?"
Gordon Ramsay, the three star Michelin chef, who is also famous for the three stars at the end of his every other word, was in the interviewee's room. His face was a picture as he listened to the above.
Bear replied swiftly: “That's another Icelandic delicacy. "
He racked his brains for a list of what he had eaten in the interests of survival:
"Sheep's eyeball, endless snakes, scorpions, ants, elephant dung. "
We then saw a photo of Bear holding up a turtle shell dripping its blood into his mouth:
"The blood is very nutritious and you don't want to waste the blood. So I drank the blood. "
Jonathan had to add in his two pennyworth:
"And it comes in, like, a kind of carton. Really - doesn't it? It's been provided. All you need is a straw and you are good to go. "
Gordon Ramsay, next door, couldn't help but laugh.
Jonathan now felt the show was ready for some gory footage. He warned the sensitive to look away although he knew that everyone would be glued to their screens. Only the insensitive can bear to watch Jonathan Ross shows.
"What about I have some footage of you eating a zebra?"
"That was an amazing moment in Kenya when I came across this lion kill just after dawn. It had been killed by a pride of lions about an hour earlier. They had eaten all the blood and soft organs and gone off to get something to drink. The zebra was still warm. "
"Weren't you worried that the lions would come back and say: ‘Hang on!’ ?"
"Well I didn't hang around. I was only there a couple of minutes. "
Jonathan showed the footage:
"This is Bear eating zebra neck and then finishing it off with an aperitif. "
Bear talked in the film as he hacked at the zebra's neck:
"This doesn't taste that great but it's my best chance of getting some protein. "
Bear now revealed a useful secret to his audience:
"One thing you can do if you're stuck out here without any water source at all is to drink the fluid from some fresh elephant dung. Pretty disgusting but it could save your life. It's a real last resort. There can be harmful bacteria in that water. But, if you have nothing else to drink it could buy you some extra time. Not one of the better drinks I've ever had. "
Bear held a huge handful of elephant dung in both his hands above his open mouth and squeezed hard until water dripped into his mouth. He commented:
"It was all fine apart from the bit of elephant turd that dropped into my mouth. "
"Well, what did you expect? You could have squeezed it into a cup perhaps or sieved it off. "
"There's not time for that sort of stuff, Jonathan, " Bear rapped back.
"If the elephants had seen you doing that, they'd have asked ‘What's he on?'"
"How long after you get back from one of your trips away does your wife wait till she lets you kiss her properly ? She must know what you've been putting in your mouth. "
"I discuss it very little when I get home. She asks how was it and I start explaining when she tends to just hand me a nappy. "
"And you pick it up, hold it up over your mouth and squeeze and go ‘Mmm’. And she says: ‘No Bear! No! You are home now. We have taps. '"
At the end of Jonathan's show, he interviewed Gordon Ramsay. One interesting fact that emerged was that horsemeat is a popular dish in France, Spain and Portugal but not in the UK presumably because horses look prettier than cows!
Jonathan, for a grand finale, brought out a saucepan and the necessary heating mechanism to cook leaves, twigs, nuts and some wriggling larvae - the kind of food Bear would relish in the wild.
Gordon, with some hesitation, put a larva into his mouth and then quickly added water, from a bottle he carried with him, to assist him in spitting his mouthful onto the floor behind his sofa.
Jonathan pretended to eat one of the larvae and then freaked out when Bear told him to bite it to kill it or it would wriggle around in his stomach.
In the turmoil, Gordon grabbed the frying pan and put it on the studio floor presumably to spare the larvae further pain. The show ended in chaos with the audience not quite sure whether to laugh or cry.
However, Bear had survived a Jonathan Ross chat show.
Bear's success is due to doing what he loves to do. He comes alive when he is doing it. It may not make sense to others but it makes sense to him.
He also enjoys a satisfying family life. After the interview with Jonathan he was off for a family beach holiday in Wales followed by a trip to the Sahara for his next show. He balances family and job well.
He is an expert at what he does and has been trained to do it. He keeps learning and developing his skills.
He balks at nothing. He does whatever he has to do to show people how to survive in extreme situations.
He can laugh at himself and see the funny side of what he is doing. He is not at all arrogant.
Even if we learn nothing else from his trips, they can make us appreciate the simple pleasures of life such as a nice glass of tap water and a plateful of properly cooked meat.
John Watson is an award winning teacher and 5th degree blackbelt martial arts instructor. He has written several ebooks on motivation and success topics. Some of these can be found at http://www.motivationtoday.com Feel free to reprint this article in its entirety in your ezine or on your site but please include the resource box above