Over the last 15 years, Bear Grylls has produced a whole host of survival and adventure programmes. Pitting himself against the elements for our entertainment, he quickly grew in popularity. This allowed him to start taking some the world’s most famous people and placing them well outside their comfort zone.
His hit US show, Running Wild with Bear Grylls would see him challenge some of the worlds most famous actors and actresses to perform dangerous stunts. From Zac Efron, Channing Tatum, and Ben Stiller, to the then sitting President of the United States, Barak Obama.
For series two, we would assist Bear in putting American actor Michael B. Jordan through his paces in the Welsh Highlands. Flying them both out over the sea in our AS355 Twin Squirrel helicopter, Michael and Bear would rappel out of the hovering aircraft, and then drop into the water before having to swim to the shore.
In series three, in a remote part of Wales, we would lift a jet ski with a twin-squirrel and drop it in the sea for Spice Girl Mel B to swim out to in her final challenge. Earlier in the episode she had to assist Bear with some controversial pain relief, which we will leave for you to look up!
Adventure in the UK
Following its success in the US, Bear would produce a UK version featuring a selection of famous Brits called Bear’s Mission With…. While most of Bear’s programmes see him travel all over the world, this one would take place solely in the UK. We are always eager to get involved when Bear shoots in the UK, so when the opportunity to feature in all five episodes came to us, we jumped at it.
First up was the two-time world heavyweight boxing champion, Anthony Joshua. Being a world class professional athlete, Bear would certainly have his work cut out giving the boxer a challenge. Anthony would be tasked with climbing Commando Ridge in Cornwall. Getting him to the bottom of this breath-taking cliffside is where we came in. With a rope ladder attached to the belly of our AS355 helicopter, and Bear and Anthony attached to the end of it, we flew them both to the base of the ridge. From there they could tackle the former WWII Commando training ground.
That’s a new one…
Next up was actor and comedian, Rob Brydon. This one started off like any other project. Our task was to fly Rob and Bear over an ice-cold lake, where they both would then jump out of our hovering helicopter into the freezing water below. Nothing out of the ordinary there. However, later in the episode, Rob and Bear spy a sheep trapped in a quarry. After carefully corralling the sheep and fitting it with a harness, we were called in to lift it out to safety. This was definitely a new one for us. While technically it was no different from any other long line work we’ve done, the pilot is normally in constant communication with the person on the end of the line. But not this time.
The third episode would feature the legendary Star Wars and Harry Potter actor Warwick Davis. For his stunt he was fitted with a safety harness before being hooked to the long line attached to our helicopter. We then lifted him into the sky, much like we did with Harry Styles, to finish off the episode.
For the final episode in the Bear’s Mission With… series, England Football Manager Gareth Southgate was to be put through his paces. Taking place in Dartmoor, we flew Bear and Gareth to a remote location in the national park, where he would then rappel out of our hovering helicopter, some 20ft off the ground.
One of Bear Gyrlls’ most recent survival programmes was Netflix’s You vs Wild. The interactive series would see him take on a range of missions where the viewer gets to decide which routes he takes along the way. After we drop Bear off on a beach in Wales, his adventure begins, and you start deciding his actions. Part way through the episode we help extract Bear with a long line stunt. But in order to see this you’ll have to make some wrong decisions and put him in harm’s way.
Outside of his TV programmes we also worked with Bear for the launch of the new Land Rover Discovery. This event saw him rappel out of our hovering helicopter onto the top of a small replica of Tower Bridge made from Lego. Rappels require expert precision while keeping the helicopter as still as possible in a hover. This stunt was made all the more difficult by taking place at night. You can see a small clip of this stunt here.
Most recently we performed a skydive stunt with Bear and his son Jesse for his YouTube channel. You can read more about this stunt here. Our growing experience and safety record is what has kept Bear Grylls coming back to us time and time again. Helicopter stunt work is something we love doing and you can read more about our service here.