Bear Grylls Says Barack Obama Episode Of ‘Running Wild’ Didn’t Exactly Go As It Seemed

Bear Grylls has revealed behind the scenes truths about his Running Wild with Bear Grylls episode with President Barack Obama. Grylls spoke on The Jonathan Ross Show about the experience and described it as being “as dangerous as a trip to the local newsagent’s.”

The episode featuring President Obama was filmed almost a year ago in September 2015, and had aired on December of that year. President Obama was in Alaska at the time of the filming to attend the Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic. Most of the episode featured a conversation on climate change between President Obama and Bear Grylls as they stroll through the Alaskan trail and share a meal consisting of tea and a freshly-caught wild salmon.

Bear Grylls recently spoke on The Jonathon Ross Show about the filming of the episode and claimed that he “went easy” on the 55-year-old President of the United States. Grylls recalled the experience as being very strange to him, mostly due to all the security that was laid out for President Obama. Grylls pointed, however, that he understood the need for all that security since the President of The United States couldn’t simply leave for a hike on a whim.

“I did go easy on him. We had to go a little softer in that sense.”

Bear says that the most bizarre part of all this were the staffers laying out special Presidential toilets every kilometer or so of their trail for President Obama.

“They actually pre-put special presidential loos every kilometre along the thing, of course none of them got used… I think he actually went in the bushes at one point.”

Bear recalled the intense level of security during the shooting of the episode.

“They had it all set up for him. They had this big black box – if anything goes wrong he gets in it and has all the nuclear codes and a big hook on the top for a helicopter, it’s a container so they can just they take him away.”

“We had like 60 Secret Service, snipers in the mountains. I’m not joking, we had the four helicopters in the air, it was a crazy whole machine to watch.”

Bear said in the show that he was actually quite nervous before doing the show, and had to take advice from his mum on the matter.

“But he was amazing and my mum beforehand – because I was nervous before going out – she just said, ‘Remember everybody puts their trousers on one leg at a time, even the President. He’s going to be a normal guy.'”

And as it turned out, his mum was actually right. In the episode, President Obama comes off a pretty normal guy and talks about the effects of climate change on the Alaskan ecosystem and on our planet as a whole. He discusses how climate change can adversely affect our way of living as can be seen in a clip from the episode below.


The President of the United States admits at one point during the show that he isn’t in as good a shape as the 42-year-old host Bear Grylls, who is an ex-commando.

“I don’t claim remarkable survival skills. I think it’s fair to say that I’m not in as good shape as you.”

During the episode President Obama also made a joke about Grylls, at one point talking about how he was afraid that Grylls was going to make him eat something bizarre, as is characteristic of his shows.

“Bear’s a mediocre cook, but the fact that we ate something recognizable is encouraging. The fact that he told me this was a leftover fish from a bear… I don’t know if that was necessary. He could have just left that out.”

[Feature Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]