More celebs go ‘Running Wild’ as adventure series moves to NatGeo

‘Running Wild’ – New home, more extreme adventures

Joel McHale (left) is a guest star in Season 5 of “Running Wild With Bear Grylls,” which opens Tuesday on National Geographic.

After four seasons of pushing celebrity guests to their limit and beyond on “Running Wild With Bear Grylls,” the British survivalist moves the show from NBC to National Geographic for more death-defying adventures in the world’s most extreme environments.

Opening its fifth season Tuesday, Nov. 5, the hourlong series finds Grylls again serving as host and guide as he takes A-list actors and athletes off the grid and into varying degrees of peril on one-of-a-kind excursions. In the 10 episodes, he’ll traverse a massive slot canyon with comedian/actor Joel McHale in Arizona; rappel down a waterfall with model/actress Cara Delevingne in Sardinia; negotiate jagged ice fields with comedian/actor Rob Riggle on an Icelandic glacier; and in the season opener, wade through a crocodile-infested mangrove with Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson in the Panamanian jungle.

“While she has super powers on the big screen as Captain Marvel,” Grylls says of Larson, “on the small screen, she was by her own admission a fish out of water. So seeing her handle a machete, plunge from a helicopter into Panamanian waters and undertake a full-on crossing of a croc-filled mangrove swamp truly was a remarkable journey. What an inspirational woman she is and with a great sense of humor in the big moments.”

Cara Delevingne is a guest star in Season 5 of “Running Wild With Bear Grylls,” which opens Tuesday on National Geographic.

Indeed, while giving these celebs an adventure they’ll never forget – and one viewers will want to tune in to – is paramount, Grylls must also be mindful of safety and not giving them more then they can handle.

“For me, the goal is ultimately about empowering these stars with skills that they can then take back to their regular lives,” he explains. “The wild tends to take care of both of these things, though, as all of the wildernesses we traverse stretch us both in terms of terrain, weather and wildlife. We always have to be on our game and alert, and without doubt, there are always moments of raw fear and doubt for the stars on these journeys. But when we walk towards the difficult stuff and we keep going despite the nerves or fatigue, we all come out stronger and with a deep sense of pride.”

And at the end of the day, personal growth is what “Running Wild” is about.

“I always tell guests that the best way over our fears in life is not to run away but to face them and walk towards them,” Grylls says. “When we do that together then nothing is insurmountable. For me to see the look of quiet pride in a guest’s eyes at the end of a journey done well and safely is amazing and humbling to see. In fact, that sense of pride is why I do this job.

“Money can’t buy that sense of quiet confidence – and often relief – that comes at the end of a mission into the wild together.”

First Look Season 5 – Captain Marvel’s Brie Larson flexes her super powers to keep up with Bear Grylls in this special… 10.06.19 | 12m

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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