Bear Grylls: 'I broke my back, but I was lying in rehab still hoping to climb Everest'
Life begins when you leave your comfort zone: My father was a Royal Marine and a climber, and as a kid we often climbed up the great chalk sea cliffs on the Isle of Wight. Initially I was scared, but as I learnt about the principles of climbing I started to enjoy it, and that's when the adventure started.
Every man should know how to light a fire without matches: Most want to, but not everyone knows how to. I think that's the appeal of my [Mud, Sweat and Tears] tour, as people get to learn some of these skills live on stage. There's a primal instinct in us all to know how to do these things, and if we don't know how, we feel disempowered.
You need broad shoulders in the media world: I loved taking part in [Discovery channel TV series] Man vs. Wild, and I took great risks for that channel. But although I'm proud of those shows, now I'm looking forward to the next set of adventures. [Discovery terminated its relationship with Grylls after he refused to participate in two further projects.]
The world is full of dream-stealers: People who say, "You're mad to have that goal." I'd dreamt of climbing Everest ever since I was a kid, but then I broke my back while I was in the Army. I was lying in military rehab with several broken vertebrae, unable to move, but still hoping to make that climb. Most people just said, "That idea is just crazy!" [Grylls went on to become the youngest Briton, at 23, to summit Everest.] You have to be gentler with people's dreams.
People think I must be a nightmare to go on holiday with: But I love going away to places without snakes or crocodiles – I have enough danger and drama when I work. We own a little island off the Welsh coast and I spend a lot of time with my family having lovely picnics there.
When I was growing up half the kids played outdoors: Now that's dropped to 20 per cent, which is why I joined Persil's campaign [of Top Ten Things to Do Before You're Ten]. I want to empower people to create their own adventures without them having to travel to the ends of the earth. My kids are always building dens [in the garden] and pretending its Everest; it's great to see.
I love being mellow: I did bath-time with all the boys last night [Grylls has three young sons]; lots of bubbles and rubber ducks. [My wife] Shara came in to the bathroom, took one look at us all splashing around and said, "God, if people knew the reality of your life..."
People who stand still on escalators drive me mad: They're there to help you go faster, not to help you go slower so you don't have to take any exercise!
Bear Grylls, 37, is an adventurer, TV presenter and head of the UK Scout Association. He will be hosting the first ever Persil 'Today I Am... Adventure Day' on Saturday. For more information, visit persil.co.uk/bear. The Bear Grylls Mud, Sweat and Tears Live Tour runs until next Sunday (beargrylls.com)
From the blogs
Owen Howells is a DJ/producer who grew up in Australia but was born in the UK. He came back to the U...
Justice, the bedrock of our society is for sale under the Government’s latest plan to sell legal aid...
Take inspiration from the green-fingered brigade who have been showing off their creativity at the R...
There are more empty shops on our high streets than ever before, says another report into the state ...
Pope Francis: Being an atheist is alright as long as you do good
That's some guestlist! Stunning images show huge dynastic wedding between Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families which attracted 25,000 guests
Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
Exclusive: Suspect Michael Adebolajo was inspired by cleric banned from UK after urging followers to behead enemies of Islam
- 1 Pope Francis: Being an atheist is alright as long as you do good
- 2 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 3 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 4 Archaeologists uncover nearly 5,000 cave paintings in Burgos, Mexico
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.