The new 'fearless tough guy' approach by TV bushcraft expert Ray Mears in ITV's new Close Encounters series is fooling 'absolutely nobody', an online opinion pole has suggested. Mears, who was offered the new series on the basis that he doesn't wear tight Cub Scout shorts, has been travelling the globe, encountering infamous and unusual animals, but has ultimately left viewers disappointed.
'Last year he was giving practical demonstrations on tying a sturdy "bowline knot", and now all of a sudden he's Mick Dundee, grappling with crocodiles? Change the channel', said unimpressed viewer Chris Landon. 'Fair enough, he's pretty handy with a bit of flint and dry wood, but sharks and gators? Next', added the far from convinced viewer.
The Close Encounters series, the first episode of which shows Ray speaking quietly about crocodiles, ironically, from a safe distance, has said to have 'peaked too soon', according to its viewers. 'First it was crocs, then those little Tasmanian Devil things. What's after that, a starfish?', sighed another ITV viewer.
With a more leisurely, 'safety first' approach to outdoor survival, Mears has gradually fallen out of favour with younger viewers, who have become more inclined to watch US-conquering Bear Grylls do forward rolls and eat camel penis. 'I could do that if I wanted to', insisted Ray, 'Grylls might have more youth appeal and cooler clothes than I do, but little do the kids know I have a scout canoeing safety badge and a pen knife light usage permit. Now who's the Mr. Mc-Cool tough guy?'