TV’s Bear Grylls has defended the celebrity version of his hit reality castaway show The Island, after critics complained about the level of swearing.
The survival expert said that it was important for the programme to portray the “authentic” nature of the islanders’ experience, adding that he “sympathised” with their reaction to a new environment of dehydration, hunger and fear.
Celebrity Island With Bear Grylls returned to Channel 4 earlier this week with a fresh host of stars, including Breaking Bad actor RJ Mitte, comedian Mark Watson and singer Jordan Stephens, who were left to face the elements and fend for themselves on a foreign island.
The shock to the system prompted strong language from some newcomers, which proved offensive for some viewers.
Grylls responded in a statement posted on Instagram on Thursday: “This is to reiterate that the TV show is an experiment, 100% unscripted and it’s documented as such.
“The editors have also cut out as much swearing as possible, but we do still need to tell the survivors authentic story. That is always a delicate balance.
“As Ch4 stated it was properly scheduled for the content and I do stand by the channel on this. If any children were offended by it, I apologise, but that is why it airs after 9pm watershed.
“As a team we make plenty of other shows that have no wearing that would maybe be more appropriate viewing.
“The Island is incredibly tough and it takes people to the edge.
“I sympathise with their language, (although I do always implore them before they embark on the adventure, to watch their swearing!) – but I guess in the hurt-locker of dehydration, hunger & fear that can often go out of the window!”
His statement was met with support from fans, with one replying: “A lot worse things going on in the world people should get a grip and just switch over if they don’t like it.”
Another added: “Agree @beargrylls the show aired after the 9pm watershed and parents concerned by the language viewed should have taken this into consideration before allowing their children to watch it.
“There is nothing to apologise for in my opinion. Keep up the fantastic work and keep doing what you do best to be a great role model!”
The islanders themselves have returned to social media since filming the pre-recorded show, with Watson admitting: “I had this idea it might help me gain self-esteem and become tougher and stuff. It did, but at a considerable price.”