You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Bear Grylls Previews Obama’s ‘Running Wild’ Appearance: ‘He Was Willing to Go for It’

President Obama took a breath of fresh air, and this time it wasn’t in the White House Garden. Obama joined survival expert Bear Grylls in the Alaskan wilderness for a special edition of NBC’s “Running Wild with Bear Grylls,” airing Thursday.

The President decided to appear on the show to raise awareness about climate change. The special edition of “Running Wild” debuts just a week after leaders from 196 countries approved the first global agreement in human history to limit greenhouse-gas emissions.

But what about the people who doubt climate change? “Even if we’re wrong, it’s not going to harm the planet,” Grylls told press in a conference call this week. “It’s only going to help the planet because what do you want us to do? Just keep belching of more the bad stuff out, because eventually we’ll hurt the planet.”

The survival expert was nervous to have the President on his show even though Grylls has experience working with high-profile guests, as Michael B. Jordan, James Marsden, Kate Hudson and Jesse Tyler Ferguson are some of the celebrities who appeared on the second season of his show. Seeing Obama outside the Oval Office was ultimately a rewarding experience. “Well, my overriding impression was just he’s a really humble, family-centered, lovely guy,” Grylls said. “I think there’s a connection when you’re out in the wild with someone.”

“But I think at the end of it [what] really stood out for me was the little thing we did right at the end where we prayed together and it’s funny because it’s sort of such an intimate thing to do, but we talked about faith on the journey,” Grylls said.

Grylls hoped the President would only bring five or six of his Secret Service team, but Obama came with an entourage of about 50 people. “It’s a whole team with the press corps and [there’s] even a guy who’s there to make sure if there’s any food or drink he’s drinking is approved,” Grylls said.

When Obama first announced he would appear on “Running Wild,” a document on the White House petition site called for the President to drink his own urine, but Grylls didn’t want to see that.

Despite the security, including snipers and a helicopter, Grylls noted Obama took the lead in the wilderness. “It was really driven by the fact that he was willing just to go for it and trust me doing my stuff and then I’d keep him safe and do my bit as well,” Grylls said.

While Obama doesn’t usually spend time in the wild, Grylls felt he was the one who needed to prepare for the filming, explaining Obama seemed incredibly confident. “I said to him right after we just lit the fire, I said, ‘Annoying president, you’re good at everything. You just, you know, normally people take hours doing this. You’re just naturally good at it.'”

The survival expert isn’t the only one who enjoyed filming. “It was so lovely hearing him say at the end that it’d been one of the best days of his presidency.”

The special edition of “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” airs 10 p.m. ET on Thursday on NBC.

More TV

  • Name Of The Rose

    Germany's Tele München Group Sold to Investment Firm KKR

    Global investment firm KKR has acquired Tele München Group, one of Germany’s largest television businesses. The surprise deal was announced Thursday. New York-based global investor KKR has holdings in multiple sectors, including infrastructure, energy and real estate. Tele München Group, or TMG, is active in both production and distribution; its projects include the highly anticipated [...]

  • UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report: Women, Minorities

    Hollywood Diversity Gains in TV but Falls Short in Movies

    Minorities and women have registered gains in several key areas of television but women continue to lag in movies, according to a report issued Thursday by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. “My basic take is that TV is improving more for minorities and women than film,” said Dr. Darnell [...]

  • 60 Minutes" reporter Lara Logan takes

    Lara Logan Says She's Been 'Targeted' for Her Claims of Liberal Media Bias

    Former CBS News foreign correspondent Lara Logan appeared on “Hannity” Wednesday evening to expand on her recent remarks characterizing the media as “mostly liberal.” “It’s obvious, right, because you get targeted,” she said, explaining her earlier comments that she was committing “professional suicide” by criticizing the media. “It’s the same group of people, they’re already [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    'Empire' Producers Consider Suspending Jussie Smollett (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fox is considering removing Jussie Smollett from production on “Empire.” Sources close to the production told Variety that producers are weighing whether to suspend the actor after he was charged Wednesday in Chicago with filing a false police report. A spokesperson for 20th Century Fox Television, which produces the series, declined to comment. Smollett’s status on [...]

  • Game of Thrones Final Season: Best

    The Best 'Game of Thrones' Merch to Get You Ready for the New Season

    We’re just weeks away from the premiere of the final season of “Game of Thrones,” and whether you’re a die-hard fan, on the hunt for a novelty gift, or a serious collector hoping to nab some memorabilia before the series signs off for good, we’ve found 10 pieces of merch that pay tribute to one [...]

  • Ryan KadroPaleyLive NY: The News Is

    Ryan Kadro Will Join Quibi to Oversee News Programming (EXCLUSIVE)

    Ryan Kadro left CBS News several weeks ago, but he isn’t leaving the news business. Kadro, the former executive producer of “CBS This Morning” is set to join Quibi, the company led by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman that is devoted to short-form  content. Kadro is expected to oversee news programming for the subscription-based service, [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett Charged With Filing False Police Report

    “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has been charged with filing a false police report, the Chicago police said Wednesday. “Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Twitter. Smollett is due to appear in court for a bond hearing at 1:30 p.m. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content