U.K.'s Channel 4 Orders 'Island of Lost Blokes' With Host Bear Grylls

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Bear Grylls

The co-production from Shine and the star's management and production firm will put 12 men on a deserted island in what is called "the ultimate survival experiment."

LONDON – U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 said Monday it has ordered "a bold new documentary series" hosted by Discovery Communications and NBC star Bear Grylls, in which he undertakes "the ultimate survival experiment to discover what it means to be a man."

Slated to air in 2014, The Island of Lost Blokes will feature 12 male competitors who will be "stripped of all the comforts of civilization and cast away on a remote deserted island for four weeks."

The network's show description added: "Basic rations of food and water will run out quickly – then they will have to work for their very survival."

The series is a co-production of Shine TV, a unit of Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, and Bear Grylls Ventures, the L.A. management and production firm for Grylls.

"This is Lord of the Flies-meets-Bear Grylls-meets-Darwin’s survival of the fittest," said Grylls. "Man has moved further and further from his hunter-gatherer origins. We take food, shelter, warmth for granted; we barely have to expend any time and energy to get them. I want to find out what happens when you strip people of all the comforts of modern life – does 21st century man still have it in him to fight for his survival?"

Liam Humphreys, head of factual entertainment at Channel 4, said: "‘Could I survive on a desert island' is a question many modern men ask themselves. This hardcore adventure series promises to examine, in the most arresting and authentic way, how tough and creative we really are today."

Tim Whitwell, head of programs at Shine TV, said the company, led by chair Elisabeth Murdoch, was "thrilled" to team up with Grylls. "The Island of Lost Blokes aims to push the British bloke to the limit and find out what they’re made of when the survival odds are stacked against them."

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai