Interviews

Emilia Fox On Mission Survive With Bear Grylls

Phobias: Spiders and snakes
Previous experience of outdoors camping: Yes but never in such extreme conditions
Missed most: My daughter
Best survival Tips you learnt: How important making a fire, shelter, knowledge of knots and good communication are.

Why did you decide to do this show?
I love any opportunity to try something new and thought this would be a once in a lifetime chance where I would get the chance to learn about another country, another environment and about survival from someone as experienced in survival as Bear Grylls

What appealed to you most?
Going to the Costa Rican jungle where I’d never been to before but had heard was stunning and is such an incredibly rich and diverse natural habitat for so many plants and animals.

What were you most looking forward to?
Seeing the plants and animals and gekng to know my cousin Laurence better.

What phobias did you have beforehand?
I thought it was a good idea to conquer my phobia of spiders and snakes before embarking on a survival mission so I handled large tarantulas, pythons and boa constrictors at Hounslow Urban Farm, and through this understood what beautiful and wondrous creatures they are.

What were you most scared of before you arrived?
My own inexperience, whether I’d done enough research, whether I’d be physically fit enough and that, if I wasn’t, I might hold up the progress of the team or let them down.

So how was it?
Sometimes lovely, especially in the hammocks once we had mastered putting them up, and sometimes horrendous, like the night where we were on the ground in sleeping bags in torrential rain.

What did you enjoy most?
Being with Kelly, Mike, Laurence, Vogue, Max, Tom and Jamelia.

How did you find living outside?
Both challenging and rewarding. I enjoyed the simplicity of knowing the major tasks of each day were making a shelter, a fire, getting food and all the camaraderie in trying to attain those things. There was a great sense of achievement when we did.

And the eating?
When we were given food we were extremely grateful. Being starved of food on the amount of physical exercise we were doing was hard, particularly for the boys I think. Eating live scorpions, live meal worms and tarantulas didn’t bother me. Cooked meal worms with sugar were actually delicious.

Which tasks did you enjoy?
I most enjoyed the daily manual tasks of relighting the fire in the morning, chopping wood, tackling walking through the jungle, pukng up hammocks and looking aber camp. I enjoyed the euphoria of jumping out of a helicopter, experiencing rapids for the first time, cutting saw grass, fishing and making the camp that turned out to be a disaster.

Any you found tough that involved any phobias?
As mentioned before I conquered my phobias in preparation for the trip but I probably wouldn’t choose to go back to a cave for pleasure now and I learnt that trees are a pain to handle, literally.

How did you get on with other celebs?
I absolutely loved the other participants and feel like I got on with everyone. I admired each person’s reasons for being there and felt everyone looked out for each other’s welfare. Getting to know each and every one of them was a privilege. I can’t think of a more lovely group to have survived with.

Who did you bond with?
I think we all bonded with each other.
Kelly and I had lovely times getting to know each other in the early mornings whilst relighting the fires before everyone was up; Mike was so supportive and gentlemanly at all times and in all situations; I admired Jamelia’s courage in the face of things she hadn’t done before and loved being her backing dancers with Kelly when she was singing! Max’s enthusiasm for the tasks, the unknown and the wild and his willingness was an inspiration; Tom is the sweetest and funniest man ever and kept our spirits up even when things were toughti Vogue is glorious in every way – a warrior – strong, brave, uncomplaining, loyal, generous and fun. And my cousin Laurence I got to know better than ever before and it made me feel so, so lucky to be related to such an absolutely wonderfully good, strong and brave man in every single way.

Did you push yourself to try and win?
It’s not in my nature to be competive so I never had any desire to go in there and try to win.





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