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From SAS To VIP: Bear Grylls

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Having eaten everything from live tarantulas to elephant dung, Bear Grylls insists survival is rarely pretty.

On the back of his TV escapades and books, the self-styled adventurer – a former SAS soldier – has become the head of a global business empire worth millions.

The father of three – married to Shara, 41, (right) has plenty of places to cook his favourite recipes +6

Grylls (with wife Shara) insists he is ‘not a great bean-counter’ and credits his success to his faith in God +6
Grylls is pictured on his converted barge on the Thames +6
Grylls (left with wife Shara) insists he is ‘not a great bean-counter’ and credits his success to his faith in God. He is pictured right on his converted barge on the Thames

You can forget about living in a bivvy too – the Old Etonian, aged 41, now has four impressive homes.

Despite this, Grylls insists he is ‘not a great bean-counter’ and credits his success to his faith in God.

Almost unknown a decade ago, his star has risen so high that his latest show, Running Wild with Bear Grylls, boasts Kate Winslet, 39, and Barack Obama, 54, as guests.

Talking to Radio Times, the father of three – married to Shara, 41 – has given a breakdown of the businesses that are allowing him to live a life of luxury.

St.Tudwal’s Island (West), off Abersoch, North Wales, with its
semi-ruined house, owned by Bear Grylls and his wife Shara.

Almost unknown a decade ago, his star has risen so high that his latest show, Running Wild with Bear Grylls, boasts Kate Winslet, 39, and Barack Obama (pictured with the former SAS soldier), 54, as guests

This is on top of a home in Wales, a Wiltshire estate valued at a seven-figure sum and a houseboat on the Thames.

The money comes from his busy schedule, with 2015 shaping up to be his most hectic year yet. He is currently working on a new series of Mission Survive and The Island, as well as a show for Chinese TV.

On the back of these shows he has set up a huge merchandising operation, selling everything from branded mobiles to protein shakes and propeller-powered parachutes.

The £50 Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Knife sold a million units in its first year, while his range of children’s books shifted three million copies in China in their first six months on sale.

Strangely, the UK is one of the countries where Grylls is less successful but he claims to like this because it allows him privacy.

The survival star is certain there is more money to be made. He said: ‘I still think we’re at ground zero, and if we really get our act together over the next few years, we can build that into an absolutely huge business around the world.’

He is also a devout Christian and said: ‘I really, desperately have learnt in my life that I need my faith, and I’m just not strong enough on my own…I probably don’t go to church enough, but my faith is a quiet, strong backbone in my life, and the glue to our family.’

Grylls found fame through six series of Born Survivor in which he is stranded in inhospitable regions and told to find ways to survive.

However, he has repeatedly become embroiled in controversies. It emerged at one point that in some of his shows he was provided with creature comforts when the audience believed he was surviving on his wits.

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