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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Geography Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

E150/2014 - English Language Checker (Grade B3)

On Application: Council of Europe: The European Court of Human Rights’s judgme...

Marketing Executive

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Charter Selection: A professional services company ...

Project Manager - Bristol South West

£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Project Manager (PM), Key Banking Client, Retail ...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice