A while back, I found out that Bear Gryll’s was coming to town to do his Wild Night With Bear Grylls show. I mentioned it to Mrs. E, who later fessed up that she had already bought me a ticket to see the show for my Christmas present. I have a wonderful wife!

The evening kicked off with the  local international comedian Rhys Darby meandering onto the stage, followed by Bear dropping himself down from the arena ceiling somewhere. The evening followed an interview style, where Rhys helped bear take us through his adventures and to even impart some of who he was. At first I thought Rhys was fluffing it, but after a while I realised that was his laid back comedy style. He seemed to bring out the best in Bear, and brought Bear closer to the audience. It almost felt that me, Bear and Rhys were having a good old natter in a pub somewhere near you.

We were taken through various stages of Bear’s life, from his time in the SAS, his Everest conquest through to his time in the foreign legion and even his family life. Bear didn’t seem at ease at times, a little nervous maybe, but that’s what makes him human. A brilliant adventurer, yet human like us all. A hero, maybe yes, but a Dad, family man, and normal bloke. Bear also talked about his christian faith. He was apologetic for being awkard when talking about it, but he wasn’t awkward at all. He was quite eloquent about what is quite clearly a deep faith. The crowd even clapped when he mentioned it.

The highlight of the evening for me was when Bear invited the Prime Minister John Key onto the stage to eat some bugs. The PM was sat two rows in front of us, and promptly got up and walked onto the stage. He took great delight in eating crickets, but I think he struggled when the huhu grub was trying to wriggle back up his throat (see the before and after pics below). As the PM left the stage and walked through the crowds, he was high fived and cheered by everyone. Classic Kiwi encouragement. I can hardly see that happening in the UK. David Cameron, Tony Blair?

It was a brilliant evening, I loved every second of it and I came away feeling inspired. Bear encouraged the kids in the room to ignore the dream stealers and go for their dreams. OK, so I’m not a kid anymore… but I think we all have dreams but too easily others snatch them away. I thought it was a pertinent point for everyone in the room.

You can read more about Bear in his book, Mud, Sweat and Tears.

Thanks Bear (thanks Rhys)

Pics below (click each individual picture to see more clearly)