Man vs. Wild star Bear Grylls fired

Last updated 13:28 14/03/2012

Bear Grylls in action on his Discovery Channel show, Man v Wild.

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No more eating wetas, drinking his own urine and almost freezing to death on TV show Man vs. Wild for Bear Grylls.

The British adventurer and star of survival show Man vs. Wild, has been fired by US cable television network Discovery Channel in a contract dispute.

Grylls, 37, who was dropped into hostile places to survive by eating insects, wading rapids and drinking his urine, has hosted the TV show since 2006, becoming a celebrity around the world.

But Discovery Channel said today that "due to a continuing contractual dispute with Bear Grylls, Discovery has terminated all current productions with him."

Grylls was in New Zealand to film two episodes for his show on the South Island when the devastating earthquake hit Christchurch on February 22 last year.

"I was on a traverse - a big river with a wire across it - and the whole thing was wobbling.  I got to the other side and the crew said the whole ground was shaking," he said. 

Grylls, who is known to eat some daring things during his travels, also says he tasted one of the worst things he has ever eaten while in New Zealand - the tree weta.

"I thought it should be fine - I've eaten a lot of things like this.  But it took me completely left field. I've never tasted something that tastes like you would imagine poo would taste."

He went on to raise money for both the families of the Pike River miners and the Christchurch earthquake relief.

A spokesman for Grylls said he and Discovery had been unable to reach agreement on new programming and had parted ways.

"Bear's goal has always been to make life-empowering shows for his many fans around the globe, and he has taken great risks to bring Discovery such award winning programming over seven seasons," said Heather Krug, publicist for the wilderness expert.

"Unfortunately, Bear and Discovery have not been able to come to mutual agreement on new programming, and he disagrees with Discovery's decision to terminate current productions. Bear has loved the Man vs. Wild journey and looks forward to producing further cutting edge content again soon for his loyal audience."

The details of the dispute were unclear but trade publication The Hollywood Reporter quoted industry sources as saying it revolved around two unannounced projects for which Grylls was contracted.

The sixth and most recent season of Man Vs. Wild was broadcast on Discovery in July and August 2011. It featured one episode in which Grylls was joined in a remote part of Iceland by actor Jake Gyllenhaal.

Other episodes have seen Grylls dropped by parachute into jungles and deserts, surviving for days by eating snakes, sleeping in snow holes and wrapping a urine-soaked t-shirt around his head to combat dehydration.

Man vs. Wild is shown in some 200 countries around the world.

Grylls climbed Mt Everest at the age of 23 and served for three years in Britain's elite Special Air Service, training in parachuting, jungle warfare and combat survival.

He also has found fame as a motivational speaker and written several books, including teenage fiction and a best-selling autobiography.

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- Reuters

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