President Obama to Appear on 'Running Wild With Bear Grylls'

The special edition of the unscripted NBC adventure series will air later this year.
AP Images

President Obama is adding a special item to his Alaskan itinerary.

He is set to appear in an upcoming episode of Running Wild With Bear Grylls, NBC announced Monday.

The president along with host Bear Grylls will venture through the Alaskan wilderness for a special edition of the unscripted adventure series to air later this year.

President Obama will meet the famed survival expert while visiting the state to observe the effects of climate change on the area. Obama departs for Anchorage on Monday, and is also set to visit the towns of Dillingham and Kotzebue, as well as tour Exit Glacier and Kenai Fjords National Park, during his three-day trip.

The president's visit to Alaska may ruffle some feathers. On Sunday, the White House announced that the Obama administration will change the name of North America's tallest mountain peak from Mount McKinley to Denali – a major symbolic gesture for Alaskan natives. Renaming the peak Denali puts the Obama administration in the middle of an ongoing conflict between the residents of Alaska and Ohio. Alaskans call the peak Denali, which means "high one" in Athabascan, and have done so for generations. But the peak is officially recognized by the federal government as Mount McKinley, in honor of former U.S. president and Ohio native William McKinley, who was assassinated early in his second term.

The appearance on the adventure show is yet another unconventional media move for the president, who's been choosing fewer mainstream outlets for interviews in the past year. In addition to his appearance on Running Wild With Bear Grylls, Obama will also be seen on an upcoming special episode of Vice, in which he becomes the first commander-in-chief to visit a federal prison. VICE Special Report: Fixing The System, for which a trailer was released Friday, will air Sept. 27 on HBO. He also sat down for an interview on comedian Marc Maron's WTF podcast in June.

Running Wild With Bear Grylls is currently in its second season. The reality series previously has welcomed a slew of celebrity guests including Kate Winslet, Channing Tatum, Kate Hudson and Zac Efron, among others.

Grylls will produce the special edition of Running Wild with Delbert Shoopman and Dave Pearce of Bear Grylls Ventures, and Chris Grant, Viki Cacciatore and Liz Schulze of Electus.  

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