|Narrated by||Bear Grylls|
|Country of origin|
|No. of series|
|No. of episodes||19|
|Executive producer(s)||Bear Grylls
|Location(s)||Isla Gibraleón and Isla San Telmo, Pearl Islands, Panama|
|Running time||60 minutes (inc. adverts)|
|Production company(s)||Shine Television
Bear Grylls Ventures
is a survival skills reality television series narrated by Bear Grylls on the Channel 4 which began on 5 May 2014.
In the first series, thirteen British men were taken to a remote, uninhabited Pacific island by Bear Grylls for a month where they were left completely alone, filming themselves, and with only the clothes they were wearing and some basic tools. Their initial priorities were to find a fresh water source and food to feed themselves.
On 23 May 2014, it was announced that The Island has been recommissioned for a second series to air in 2015. Within a day of the request for participants, almost 40, 000 applied to appear on the second series, and over 80, 000 applied in total. The second series features two groups, one male and one female, on two separate islands.
A third series has been commissioned and it will be broadcast in 2016. 135, 000 people applied to be in the third series of the show.
The show is presented as a challenge for modern men to see if they can survive when marooned on a Pacific Island armed only with minimal tools and their own initiatives. According to Bear Grylls, masculinity is in crisis, and he is interested to see if men can survive stripped of the luxuries of 21st century living, and the show is therefore also a social experiment to see if man can recapture his primeval instincts.
According to Channel 4, an island that has the natural resources necessary for the men to survive a month was chosen. Additional yuca plants were planted in order to supplement the existing supply, extra animals indigenous to the islands such as caiman were also added, and a freshwater source was topped up before filming. The participants were given training about animals native to the island that are on the protected species list, and each received one day's survival training, including advice on how to catch and humanely kill caiman. The men were given machetes and knives, head torches, an initial one-day water supply, and an emergency medical kit. In addition, the participants had GPS spot trackers, and access to radio and satellite phone in case of emergency. In its first series, 13 men were placed in a remote Pacific island for a month. One of the men is a fully qualified doctor, three are trained cameramen and one a sound recordist, but all would live in exactly the same conditions as the rest.
In the second series, following complaints about the absence of women in the first series, two groups, 14 men and 14 women, were left on two separate islands. The women were left on the same island as in the first series Isla Gibraleón, while the men were left on another island in the same archipelago, Isla San Telmo. This series was filmed in the rainy season which presented additional challenges. The participants were given two days survival training and they were required to survive by themselves on the islands for 6 weeks. The men and women were featured on separate episodes on consecutive nights each week.
UK Series One: Chris Barrow, Craig Brown, Dan Etheridge, Dean Quinton, Joe Birch, Sam Nightingale, Sackie Osakonor, Kiff, Rupert Smith, Ryan McHugh, Matt, Mike Fletcher, Tony
UK Series Two (Women): Abby, Beki Dixon, Belinda Fenty, Beth Brown, Chavala Parker, Fi Cotter Craig, Fran, Georgina Keidrowski, Georgina Burrell, Jaime Ross, Jayde Lee, Julie Henderson, Kate Willis, Lauren Morton
UK Series Two (Men): Andy, Barney Strange, Charlie, Daniel Campion, Joe, Kyle Newsh, Paul, Piers Dixey, Phil Ennis, Ross Blair, Sam Brown, Sam Farmar, Will, Vic
The first series was filmed on an uninhabited Pacific island, Isla Gibraleón, which is one of the Pearl Islands off the coast of Panama. The island has an 8-kilometre (5.0-mile) coastline, 5 beaches, a mangrove swamp, and is covered with jungle. The mangrove swamp is located on the east coast of the island where the men were dropped off, and the main sandy beach is on the west coast where the men set camp.
The second series used two islands in the same archipelago, Isla Gibraleón and Isla San Telmo.
Grace Dent of thought the show is interesting television as it is "an attempt to form a show around utterly normal, non-fame hungry, not particularly pretty, non-celeb males", but found the first episode to be "an hour of rather plotless bumbling and twig friction." Euan Ferguson of expressed concern about the "producer selection" of mollycoddled males who might fail to cope with the wilds of the island, but thought that the participants might "make a fist of surviving, and confound a few lazy stereotypes", and that he was "semi-hooked". Christopher Stevens of the thought that the series showed that "survival is a tough business when you’ve only got your wits and a sharpened stick to depend on."
In the second series, Charlotte Runcie of thought that watching people learning to "cooperate in extreme situations is always strangely compelling", although Rupert Hawksley of the same paper felt that the second series, despite the presence of women, was "every bit as sexist" as the first series. The participants' struggle with survival prompted joking references to .