I'm often asked what the best thing about being a blogger is and I have to say, the thing I get the bigget kick out of is having the opportunity to do things that never would have presented themselves otherwise. Well, a couple of weeks ago, I was very excited to be asked if I'd like to interview Bear Grylls, currently working with Persil small & mighty on their campaign to get kids active. Here are the questions I asked him and his replies :
- First of all, can I ask you where the nickname Bear came from?
It’s come from Edward, Eddie, Teddy, Teddy Bear! It’s not very butch but then again, my sister gave it to me when I was a day old!
- It's been great to see all your work with Persil small & mighty promoting active outdoor fun for kids. Why do you think this is so important for today's youth?
It’s so sad young people don’t get a chance to enjoy the great outdoors as much as our generation. Persil small and mighty is encouraging kids and parents to love adventures again.
- What kind of childhood did you have yourself ? And how does this compare to your own kids' idea of play?
Really active! It was all about running around outside, climbing, making rafts and camping in trees. All of these activities made me closer to my father. These kind of activities don’t have to be elaborate- they’re simple and fun and they fired my imagination.
- You were the youngest ever person to be appointed Chief Scout. What does this represent for you ?
Being Chief Scout means a lot to me. It encourages young people to get access to adventure! It focuses on important life skills and working together.
- Were you a Scout when you were younger? Do you think being a Scout is still "cool" for modern kids ?
Yes, I was a scout when I was a kid! By 8 years old I had a lot of confidence from it. I just think that life isn’t about being cool – it’s about looking after your friends and yourself. Life’s about experiencing things and that’s what scouts encourages. I think that’s about as cool as it gets!
- You've been on some fantastic adventures. Is there one trip in particular that sticks in your mind as the most exciting or dangerous situation you've ever been in ? And are there any that, with hindsight, you wouldn't do again?
I have to say Everest was pretty life-changing. It had always been a dream of mine that my Dad encouraged. A military team was picked and you had to climb or lose lives. That trip changed me in many ways. I think that mountains have an ability to humble and inspire you. I went back to Everest to look at doing a paraglider attempt but I wouldn’t attempt Everest again.
- Do you ever think "I'm a celebrity, get me out of here" when you're filming?!
Yes, often. All the time actually! But, it’s like life- the pain and discomfort doesn’t last forever and you just have to think of the end goal.
- What are some of the most revolting things you've eaten in the wild?
(Laughs) Ah, yes. I would say goats testicles, frozen yak’s eyeballs and camel intestine fluids- not great!
- Just looking through some of your madcap exploits - rowing a bath-tub naked along the River Thames, having a record-breaking high altitude dinner party, ... - who comes up with these crazy ideas ? And do you have any others planned?
Of course! I come up with most of them! Life is meant to be an adventure. I have lots of new plans from new TV shows and films, to other things. You’ll have to wait and see!
- Have you ever turned down a challenge because you thought it would be too demanding or dangerous ?
I’m super lucky to get approached most days by people with amazing challenges. Some are really dangerous but my wife’s a pretty strong filter!
- As a parent, how would you feel if (when ?!) you own children come and tell you they're going to go climbing Everest, canoeing over Niagara Falls or something equally daring ?
My dad always said to me you have to follow your dreams - which is what I did. As a parent I think you have to encourage, encourage, encourage. I would be behind them.
12. Do you have any advice for parents who would like to get their kids away from the TV screens and games consoles and out into the natural world to have fun and adventures as a family ?
Yes, check out our Persil top ten things to do before you’re ten guide- all the ideas are there for all kinds of outdoor activities. You don’t need to go on expensive holidays to do these things- they’re right on your doorstep!