Bear Grylls has revealed that his new TV show was a huge gamble because it could have gone very wrong.
The Island With Bear Grylls sees 13 men drawing on their skills to survive on a remote uninhabited Pacific island by themselves for a month, with no TV crews or the explorer around to help them. They were left with some basic tools and a day's worth of water.
"There was a lot at stake here because we wanted to be totally authentic. We didn't want camera teams running around so we just dropped 13 guys on this hell-hole of an island - swamp-infested with crocodiles and snakes - and had them film themselves," he said.
"We didn't know whether after a couple of days, they would be out of water and keeling over with dehydration and that would be the end of it. We didn't know what would happen."
Bear's experimental gamble paid off, with the results shown on screens from May 5.
"It was really revealing about modern man's character with a lot of bravado to start with. But what began to emerge was a powerful dynamic of real male qualities," the 39-year-old explained.
"They're not the qualities you might think of - it's not about the muscles, but about kindness, humility, respect and hard work ethic, which is at the heart of survival."
Bear continued: "They wasted a lot of time disagreeing about what they should be doing, but they soon realised they have to make fire, because without fire, they can't drink the stagnant water.
"Making fire always looks so easy on telly but the reality is it's hard. These guys spent 12 hours just grinding away, trying to create heat."
:: The Island With Bear Grylls begins at 9pm on Channel 4 on May 5.