Bear Grylls has revealed that there are some truly nail biting moments in his new series Mission Survive. Speaking exclusively to HELLO! Online the adventurer said that at times during filming for the show, he was genuinely worried for the safety of the celebrity participants – including Mike Tindall who was hospitalised following a head injury.
"I was very nervous at the start," said Bear. "To have eight rookies who've never done anything like this before running around with machetes and going around rivers with snakes and crocodiles especially when they're tired and may make mistakes.
Bear admitted there were times he was worried for the celebrities' safety
"Most days there was some problem," he added. "Whether it was people getting stung by bees or half drowning or Mike had to be hospitalised at one point because he got hit on the head by a piece of wood really hard so he had to have a few stitches."
Part of the reason Bear was concerned was that the team in charge of the contestants was so small.
"We didn't have a crew of 300 people behind the scenes," he explained. "It was just me and a few guys and a camera team and a medic so it was a pretty small team."
Mike Tindall was hospitalised following a blow to the head
Luckily the eight celebrities, who include Emila Fox, Laurence Fox, Jamelia, Dame Kelly Holmes, Max George, Tom Rosenthal, Vogue Williams, HELLO! new Blogger, and Mike, returned from the Costa Rican jungle relatively unscathed.
"I was mega relieved when we got everyone out of there is one piece at the end," said Bear. "It was a genuine long jungle graft for these guys and I have a lot of respect for those who were there all the way until the end it was a genuine achievement for them."
Left to right: Dame Kelly Holmes, Max George, Vogue Williams, Mike Tindall, Jamelia, Laurence Fox, Emilia Fox and Tom Rosenthal
Bear's new show, which he describes as "I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here on steroids", sees Emilia, Laurence, Jamelia, Kelly, Max, Tom, Vogue and Mike attempt to survive in the depths of the Central American rainforest.
During 12 days in the jungle the group take on challenges from eating live scorpions to abseiling down waterfalls and crossing dangerous rapids before one celebrity is crowned the show's ultimate survivor.
Bear speaking to Max and Jamelia as they prepare to abseil down a waterfall
While the celebrities were able to bring luxury items with them, Bear explained that they soon realised that they were of little use in the jungle.
"Vogue Williams and Jamelia turned up with huge vanity cases of shampoo," he said. "But three days later when they could hardly carry their packs they ditched them.
"But I don’t mind where they started from," he added. "It's about where they ended up and Mission Survive is an empowering journey where some crumble and some come alive."
Bear says Emilia Fox was one of the stars who surprised him the most
Bear, 40, is keen to emphasise that physical strength and muscle don't necessarily make for the ideal survivor – saying that sometimes it was the more unlikely stars who impressed him the most.
"Emilia Fox was very determined," he said. "Very focused and while some of the crew were saying petite, pretty, actress she's going to be in trouble, I was saying 'hold you're judgements, wait and see'.
"The truth is you don't know until people are put under that pressure and she was well prepared she was driven focused – so I definitely learnt never to judge a book by its cover."