Five Reasons To Watch… The Island with Bear Grylls

The survival series returned last week with a brand new format. From bears to berries, here's why you should be tuning in...

5. The Bear

Obviously, The Island wouldn’t be the same without a certain Bear Grylls. The ex-army man is currently the world’s foremost survival expert. He wrestles wild animals, eats their faeces, drinks his own urine, and gives himself enemas while floating on rafts. The guy’s basically a human sewage pipe.

This is a perfect excuse to show you the greatest Bear impression ever. Have a look at this:

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4. Battle of the sexes

Unlike the first series, we now have a women’s island, and it’ll be great to see how they match up to the boys. I have a sneaking suspicion that the girls will fare better with fewer egos around, but it’s not going well for either camp at the moment.

Three of the men are already threatening to leave, barely a week into the experience, and one girl quit almost immediately when she realised there were mosquitos around. Another of the women is struggling with creepy crawlies too – she gave us the the most overblown reaction to a snake since Dappy’s dick pic was leaked.


3. Natural revenge

Human waste on the beach. And bottles and stuff around him.
Human waste on the beach. And bottles and stuff around him.


Mother Nature can be cruel, but not as cruel as humankind is to her. So it’s nice to see her getting her own back in a small way.

“Going crab-hunting in bare feet are we? Enjoy some razor-sharp rocks, good sir. Spent eight torturous hours making a fire? Ha, this tropical storm will sort that out. Relaxing swim, eh? Go jellyfish! Now stop polluting my beaches with rotting flip-flops and plastic jerry cans! Wankers.”


2. Fights and fallouts

As much as The Island likes to think it’s a test of survival, it’s the human relationships that provide most of the entertainment. It’s like Big Brother without the luxuries – no food, no clean water. The dire situation leads to some tense moments.

In the last series, the men very nearly came to blows – not the sexual kind, although that wouldn’t have surprised me given how much they banged on about the lack of hanky-panky.

Tempers have already flared in the first episode, and it’ll be interesting to see how the teams deal with acrimony over the coming weeks.


1. Danger of death

Bear kayaks around the island for eight weeks, just in case.
Bear kayaks around the island for eight weeks, just in case.


We all love watching something with an element of danger, and The Island certainly has that. In tonight’s episode, we see cameraman Ross Blair being swept out to sea, at serious risk of drowning until he’s rescued by a teammate.

In a recent interview, Bear Grylls admitted he almost scrapped the show over fears someone might actually die. Good old Bear, at least he thought about it – before deciding that the “experiment” was far too important to be cancelled over such a silly matter as potential death.

Grylls teaches everyone the survival basics – the Bear necessities if you like – before they’re left to their own devices, but there are some genuinely heart-stopping moments. You’ll see someone, starving and desperate, pick an innocent-looking berry off a branch, before the camera cuts to Bear, who’s prowling the island’s coast on his speedboat.

He warns: “Some of the berries on the island can be fatal. Eat the wrong one, and it’ll poison your stomach lining and slowly devour you from the inside. You’ll start to bleed from your eyeballs, and if you don’t reach a hospital within 45 seconds, the plants around you will begin to feed on your flesh until all that’s left is a bundle of bloody clothes. And a berry.”

Okay, so I exaggerated a bit, but it’s not that far from the truth.


You can watch The Island on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9pm on Channel 4.

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