Juliet Wide And Alexis Giradet, Discovery Channel
Bear Grylls

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Appearing before a room full of TV critics, "Man vs. Wild" star Bear Grylls answered question after question about what we don't see on his show — the guys who are with him when he's experiencing his Big Adventures.

And Grylls said he found it "interesting ... that there's so many questions" about the two off-camera guys who follow his every footstep.

"I'm always really keen to include them," he said. "And I've done so many shots in the early days of turning the camera around and going, 'Look at Simon. He's exhausted.' And it often gets sort of cut."

The show's producers have chosen to focus on Grylls and what he's doing. But as the show enters a new season (tonight at 10 on the Discovery Channel), things are going to change just a bit.

"I think we're getting bolder now," he said. "In this last season we filmed, we're beginning to sort of include them much more because I think people are interested."

Right after the season premiere, which takes Grylls to the Sahara, Grylls takes a bit of departure with "Bear's Everest" (11 p.m., Discovery). He travels to the Himalayas, where he attempts to fly a powered paraglider higher than Mount Everest.

Grylls doesn't have a huge crew along with him as he's dropped in the middle of nowhere and has to find his way out.

"I have a cameraman and a sound man, Simon (Reay) and Paul (Ritz), who are the guys who are with me pretty well about 98 percent of the time," he said. "And then we have a base camp set up as close as we can get it — maybe two minutes by chopper."

There are, of course, more people at that base camp, including "all the production guys, a director, all the local rangers, experts, assistant director, that kind of stuff. ... They might occasionally drop in and do stuff, but the guys who are really with me most of the time are Simon and Paul."

They do "almost everything" that Grylls does.

"Really, they're the big heroes, I think, behind this," Grylls said. "We picked them from a load of different applicants at the start, and I really wanted to work with the same two people. They've become real friends through the series."

They're not with Grylls 100 percent of the time, however.

"There are certain things they wouldn't do," he said. "Often at nighttime, they will get helicoptered out and they might have to recharge camera batteries and hand in footage."

When he's left alone, Grylls is left with a "little minicamera for the night stuff. And, they come in and rejoin me in the morning."

And they're not necessarily right next to him when he's climbing cliffs and so on.

"Obviously, climbing stuff they will just hand me a little minicamera," Grylls said. "But most of it, when I'm swimming through the big rivers or whatever, they're pretty well generally right there beside me."

And it is a TV show, so — while everything in it actually happened, some of what you see is re-created.

"Sometimes I need to wait for things to catch up," Grylls said. "Sometimes I need to do climbs two or three times to get it. And then after we finish, we then have another two or three days where we do pickup stuff where the director will go, 'Listen, you were talking about this, and it made absolutely bugger-all sense. We need to do this again.' We have a few days of picking stuff up."


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