In the last couple of days, Channel Fours new reality series ‘The Island with Bear Grylls’ has stirred comment regarding the lack of every-day comestibles’ available to the islands malnourished participants. Several commentators have accused the show of glamorising starvation, with one columnist likening the last episode to ‘a kind of weight loss boot camp’. Outraged Twitter users commenting on the show have now adopted the starvationentertainment hash-tag, despite many having never watched an episode.
The shows production company, Shine TV, where quick to dismiss such claims by issuing a brief press release, which stated that ‘Each of the thirteen men on the Island, had been hand-picked for being the only men to apply for the opportunity to appear on the show.’ And that ‘most of those volunteering had a bit of a spare-tyre, so no one was in any real danger of truly wasting away during their month long abandonment on the island.’
Interviewed by his hotel pool, self-styled survival guru Bear Grylls said that ‘the only real danger to life would come from dehydration, or sunstroke, or drowning, or stepping on a stonefish, or falling into the fire, or the batteries in their one and only walky-talky running out, or that hunger on the remote island would get so bad, that tribal fractions would develop within camp, rapidly followed by Papua New Guinea style head-hunting and cannibalistic ritual.'
When questioned further as to why he, as the face of the show, was not undertaking the thirty day ordeal of self-sufficiency, he replied ‘but I know how to make a fire, build a shelter, forage for food and source drinkable water.’ When asked, but isn’t that the point? The grumpy Bear, with a mini-bar induced sore head, put down his half-finished Chris Ryan novel and replied ‘are you kidding me, if I was on that island, with those guys, I’d never get a moments peace.’