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Maverick Adams
Maverick Adams

The Island With Bear Grylls

The Island with Bear Grylls is a British reality television programme which premiered on Channel 4 on 5 May 2014 and ran for five series, plus a renamed sixth series and a spin-off series. Narrated by Bear Grylls, participants in the show are placed on remote uninhabited Pacific islands as a test of their survival skills. They are left completely alone, filming themselves, with only the clothes they are wearing and some basic tools and training.[1]

The Island with Bear Grylls

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Initially pitched as an assessment of the capabilities of British men in the 21st century, the first series (2014) featured 13 male participants. Following accusations of sexism, the second series (2015) used two islands, with 14 women on one, and 14 men on the other. The third series (2016) continued the gender divide theme and featured eight men and eight women abandoned on opposite sides of a single island. The fourth series (2017) focused primarily on age rather than gender and featured initially separate tribes of older (30 to 66 year-old) people vs. younger people (18 to 30 years old). The fifth series (2018) involved people from different social classes based on their yearly salary earnings.[2]

The sixth series, now renamed Treasure Island with Bear Grylls, started airing on 8 September 2019. This series is the first to involve cash prizes, dropped from air to the island for the participants to find.[3] A celebrity spin off version, Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls, was first broadcast as part of a charity campaign for Stand Up to Cancer UK in September 2016.[4][5]

In promoting the first series, the show was pitched as a challenge for modern men, to see if they can survive when marooned on a Pacific island armed only with minimal tools and their own initiative.[8] According to Bear Grylls, masculinity (and machismo) is in crisis, and he is interested if men can survive after being stripped of the luxuries of 21st-century living; the show is therefore also a social experiment to see if man can recapture his primeval instincts.[9]

In the second series, following complaints about the absence of women in the first series, two groups, 14 men and 14 women, were left on two separate islands.[10][11] In the third series, two groups of eight men and eight women were left at opposite ends of the same island, with neither group knowing of the other's presence.[12] In the fourth series, there were two sets of participants of different age groups, while in the fifth series, the two groups were of different income levels.[13] The sixth series features money dropped onto the island for participants to find in order to examine the effect of money in a survival situation.[14]

The first series was filmed on an uninhabited Pacific island, Isla Gibraleón, which is one of the Pearl Islands off the coast of Panama.[15] The island has an 8-kilometre (5.0-mile) coastline, five beaches, a mangrove swamp, and is covered with jungle. The mangrove swamp is located on the east coast of the island where the men were dropped off, and the main sandy beach is on the west coast where the men set camp.

Grace Dent of The Independent thought the show is interesting television as it is "an attempt to form a show around utterly normal, non-fame hungry, not particularly pretty, non-celeb males", but found the first episode to be "an hour of rather plotless bumbling and twig friction."[29] Euan Ferguson of The Observer expressed concern about the "producer selection" of mollycoddled males who might fail to cope with the wilds of the island, but thought that the participants might "make a fist of surviving, and confound a few lazy stereotypes", and that he was "semi-hooked".[30]

On 1 May 2018, it was confirmed at the end of the fifth series that The Island would return for a sixth series, set to air on 8 September 2019.[42] It was confirmed in February 2019 that for the first time there would be a winners cash prize and that the islanders will be against each other. It was also confirmed that the show will be renamed Treasure Island with Bear Grylls.[43] In the course of series, 100,000 were parachuted from air to the island for the participants to find. Episode 44 'Surviving Treasure Island' was the last ever episode to air.

In August 2013, he faced a planning investigation by Gwynedd Council after installing a huge 80ft steel slide from his island into the sea, due to the island being part on area of natural, outstanding beauty. He later removed the slide, saying it was never intended to be permanent and that he would clear it with the council before using it again.

Despite the negative attention the show attracted, the second season of The Island was a huge success with 3.2 million tuning in to watch it. The show was incredibly humbling not only for the contestants, but for the audience. Both the men and women left the island with a renewed sense of appreciation for their lives. It really emphasised that in 21st century people live such a cushioned life, and never have to wake up in the morning with thoughts of what they will have to eat and drink that day to stay alive. One of the most emotional points in the show was in the final episodes where contestants are seen contacting their loved ones when they make it back to civilisation. These expressions of happiness and relief remind the contestants and the audience of how lucky we are to have important people in our lives. The Island with Bear Grylls is a one of kind TV show, giving people the chance to experience a way of life which most of us never will, and proving the audience with an insight of what is truly most important in life. 041b061a72


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