In spite of bringing a rash of publicity and his own form of celebrity to the Discovery Channel, British adventurer Bear Grylls was fired this Tuesday.
Apparently let go over a contracting dispute, a spokesman for Discovery Communications’ (NASDAQ:DISCA) namesake channel announced Tuesday that all ongoing Bear Grylls productions would immediately cease filming. As Reuters reports, the details of his termination are unclear, and the firing was unexpected by the network’s viewers. However, sources closer to the network report that the survivalist’s release was likely due to entrenched disputes around two unannounced Bear Grylls projects. The sixth and most recent season of “Man vs. Wild” premiered Summer 2011, and by that time the show was broadcast to a global audience encompassing 200 countries.
Grylls’ publicist was quick to respond, stating, “Unfortunately, Bear and Discovery have not been able to come to mutual agreement on new programming, and he disagrees with Discovery’s decision to terminate current productions. Bear has loved the ‘Man vs. Wild’ journey and looks forward to producing further cutting edge content again soon for his loyal audience.”
Grylls previously served as a pilot in Britain’s elite Special Air Service, and first gained fame as the youngest Briton to yet scale Everest when he climbed the summit in 1998 at age 23. Outside of his work for the Discovery Channel, Bear Grylls is known as a motivational speaker and author — and penned his autobiography, Mud, Sweat and Tears in 2011. It remains a bestseller in Australia and the United Kingdom.
– Adam Patterson, InvestorPlace Assistant Editor