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Barack Obama will trek through the wilderness in Alaska this week with TV adventurer Bear Grylls, the NBC channel has announced.

The president is due to tape an episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls to observe the effects of climate change on the area, the channel said.

Barack Obama is the first president to appear on Bear Grylls’ show, to be aired later this year.

The president is on a three-day tour of Alaska aimed at highlighting the pace of climate change.

Photo NBC

Photo NBC

It is part of his administration’s efforts to build support for new legislation significantly capping carbon dioxide emissions from power plants in the US, as well as raise attention to the ways climate change has damaged Alaska’s natural landscape.

Barack Obama follows several other high profile figures, including actresses Kate Winslet and Kate Hudson, who have tested their survival skills on the show.

Bear Grylls – a former British special forces soldier – puts celebrities through their paces in remote forests and mountains across the world, “pushing their minds and bodies to the limit to complete their journeys”.

This week Barack Obama will become the first sitting US president to visit the Alaskan Arctic, where he is due to address foreign ministers from Arctic nations at a conference on climate change.

Barack Obama is also scheduled to visit glaciers and meet fishermen and native leaders to discuss rising sea levels, shrinking glaciers and melting permafrost in Alaska.

Before he departed for Alaska, Barack Obama announced he was changing the name of Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America, to its original native Alaskan, Denali.

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama unveiled plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions from US power stations by nearly a third within 15 years.

Man vs. Wild’s Bear Grylls has been fired by Discovery Channel after he reportedly refused to work on two upcoming channel’s projects.

A Discovery Channel spokesperson told the Hollywood Reporter exclusively that they have ended their relationship with the wilderness guru.

“Due to a continuing contractual dispute with Bear Grylls, Discovery has terminated all current productions with him,” the spokesperson said.

Sources told the Hollywood Reporter website that Bear Grylls has been unwilling to participate in two upcoming projects, in violation of his contract.

British Bear Grylls, 37, has been starring in the series since 2006, and has travelled all over the globe, from Nambia to Zambia, and from the Arctic Circle to China.

The sixth season of the series wrapped up production last August.

The show documented the British adventurer’s travels as he made his way through some of the most inhospitable places on Earth.

While the news comes as something of a shock, Bear Grylls will hardly be scraping for his next project.

He has garnered something of a cult following for his blood-and-mud-covered adventures, and has several projects on the horizon.

The Hollywood Reporter notes that Bear Grylls’ memoir, “Mud, Sweat, and Tears” is due out in the U.S. this May. In the UK, it is already a best-seller.

On top of celebrity endorsements for brands like Dockers and Degree deodorant, Bear Grylls’ clothing brand is sold at Wal Mart and outdoor adventure store REI.

Man vs. Wild’s Bear Grylls has been fired by Discovery Channel after he reportedly refused to work on two upcoming channel’s projects.

Man vs. Wild’s Bear Grylls has been fired by Discovery Channel after he reportedly refused to work on two upcoming channel’s projects.


Man vs. Wild show – aired as Born Survivor in the UK – ran into considerable controversy in 2007 when it was revealed that Bear Grylls and his camera crews would spend the night in hotels, rather than camping in the wild, as the show depicted.

The series was briefly taken off the air and returned with a disclaimer reading: “Bear Grylls and the crew receive support when they are in potentially life threatening situations, as required by health and safety regulations.

“On some occasions, situations are presented to Bear so he can demonstrate survival techniques. Professional advice should always be sought before entering any dangerous environment.”

Bear Grylls told the AP in 2008: “I think the new shows will reassure (fans). Everything is strong and double-checked. Discovery is so cautious of everything. If I so much as break wind on these shows, it’s acknowledged now.”

Bear Grylls said he slept in the hotel to spend time with his family.

The scandal wounded Bear Grylls’ public image as being a rugged survivalist, and he was publically lambasted by Les Stroud of Survivorman.

Les Stroud said before he ended his popular show that being in the wilderness was incredibly demanding on his mind and body.

“It takes a lot out of me as I really do what I do for real, with no camera crew, no nights in hotels like others do, and it takes a toll on my body,” Les Stroud told Reuters.

“I need to move on,” he added.

Bear Grylls has also come under fire for his surmounting wealth – the reality star owns and lives on a private island in Wales and owns properties in Malibu and has a house barge on the Thames.

The Hollywood Reporter noted that Bear Grylls was not part of the network’s upfronts – the all-important week when television executives pitch their upcoming season programming.