You’re in the high veldt of South Africa. You and your companions are miles from the nearest habitation, surrounded by dangerous wild animals and poisonous creepy-crawlies, and the only provisions you have are what you can carry in a small rucksack.
You are given a range of supplies and told to choose what to take. Do you take:
A. Rope, tarpaulin, stove, and water carrier?
B. Soap, a portable shower and a 5kg hammer?
If you’re the celebs taking part in Bear Grylls: Mission Survive (ITV, Thursdays, 9pm), the answer is, of course, B.
Fortunately, Chief Scout Bear is prepared and steps in to throw the soap into the bush for an unsuspecting jackal to chew on, and hand them some spare paracord with which to build a shelter.
The pathetically grateful stars – a motley collection of actors, sports stars and whatever Jason Gardiner does – settle in for an uncomfortable night under the stars, made slightly more uncomfortable by the ever-enthusiastic Bear playing animal noises from a handy ghetto-blaster.
This, apparently, was to teach them to be prepared to ward off attacks from jackals and other critters. It didn’t work.
While it’s quite funny see football hardman Stuart Pearce turning white over his fear of heights, this particular mission didn’t seem to have any real jeopardy. Jason was worried about getting his hands dirty and Neal Morrissey sustained a cut to the finger, but a fortnight in a caravan on Anglesey with two kids presents more terrors than Bear’s Cub Scout survival camp.
Even a zip wire from a cliff to the ravine floor – a metaphor for the celebs’ careers, perhaps – passed off without a hitch.
Maybe we’ve got used to seeing celebs facing ‘danger’ in the wild, accompanied by the orchestral music of doom on the soundtrack, but I get the feeling it won’t stir much reaction unless they’re actually facing real lions in the Colosseum – Dermot O’Leary might be up for hosting.
I’ve given the new series of The X-Files (5, Mondays, 9pm) a few more episodes and it’s turning into one of the most entertaining hours of TV at the moment.
Episode three, particularly, in which Mulder and Scully were on the trail of a werelizard, was – intentionally – hilarious, while this week’s was a creepy classic, aided by some brilliant one-liners from David Duchovny’s Mulder.