My Secret Life: Bear Grylls, adventurer, 35


My parents were ... My late dad taught me to climb when I was very young; my mum was and remains brilliantly wacky.

The house/flat I grew up in ... was a cottage on the Isle of Wight, on the edge of the sea on the East Cliff. We had a garden with huge trees where I learnt to climb.

When I was a child I wanted to be ... I had a strong desire to climb Everest ever since my dad gave me a poster of it when I was aged eight; I used to keep it on my bedroom wall.

If I could change one thing about myself ... I'd have less itchy feet for adventure; they get much harder to scratch when you have three young kids.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at ... I'm not very good at anything; I'm a Jack of lots of things and a master of none. But I'm OK at the piano.

At night I dream of ... being at home, safe with my family, with no dramas and no dangers.

What I see when I look in the mirror ... is a mix of struggle, doubt, fun and joy.

My favourite item of clothing ... is an old, holey woollen jumper which was my grandfather's. He was a best friend to me growing up, a giant of a man; the jumper's huge and still smells of him.

I wish I'd never worn ... I only own one suit, and it's a bright pink denim suit, which I wear whenever I have to look smart. I have an aversion to suits.

It's not fashionable but I like ... My sense of fashion is great because it always comes back into fashion about 30 years later. The things I wear are often suddenly trendy having been untrendy for many years.

I drive/ride ... a Land Rover.

My house is ... a houseboat on the Thames in London. It's a 100-year-old Dutch barge; a bit like the Bat Cave, it's rusty and messy on the outside, and amazing inside.

My favourite work of art ... is 'Prodigal Son' by Charlie Mackesy. It's all about intimacy and where we find intimacy in our lives.

My favourite building ... I love mountains; they lack the order that buildings have. I've always found the wilderness much more attractive. People used to fear the mountains because they were chaotic and jumbly and messy, but actually that's their appeal.

A book that changed me ... was 'Rhinoceros Success' by Scott Alexander. I read it when I was 14 years old and it encouraged me to get out there and live life boldly and have a few great close friends.

Movie heaven ... would be 'Greystoke: the Legend of Tarzan'.

The last album I bought ... was 'Unplugged' by Chris Hutchinson.

My secret crush ... Growing up I had so many and they were constantly changing.

My greatest regret ... I'm not a great one for regrets; I always think whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger. A lot of the harder things I've had in my life have actually formed who I am, though losing my dad very young was hard.

The person who really makes me laugh ... is Shara, my wife, and my three boys – Jesse, Marmaduke and Huckleberry.

The last time I cried ... uncontrollably, was a couple of weeks ago while watching the film 'The Notebook'.

My five-year plan ... is made by writing my goals out every year on paper and then sticking them up where I can see them.

What's the point? It's to find intimacy, purpose and meaning, and I find that through my Christian faith.

My life in six words ... Lucky, risk, cosiness and bad behaviour.

A life in brief

Edward Michael 'Bear' Grylls was born on 7 June 1974. He spent three years in the SAS before breaking his back while free-fall parachuting. Aged 23, he climbed Mount Everest, and in 2006 his TV series Bear Grylls: Born Survivor first aired. He has a wife and three children and splits his time between a home on a Welsh island and a houseboat in London. The new series of his survival show starts this Monday on the Discovery Channel

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Chief Executive

£28, 700: Whiskey Whiskey Tango: Property Management Company is seeking a brig...

COO / Chief Operating Officer

£80 - 100k + Bonus: Guru Careers: A COO / Chief Operating Officer is needed to...

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence