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In search of extreme China adventure

FROM snowy peaks to parched deserts and tropical swamps, Bear Grylls will go in search of extreme China adventures in a special episode of "Man vs Wild," reports Xu Wei.

Legendary explorer and TV presenter Bear Grylls confronts crocodiles, snakes and other beasts and tackles ice chasms, wild rivers and quicksand in the adventure series "Man vs Wild."

The Discovery Communications series began airing last Sunday on the Discovery Channel on 27 provincial and municipal TV stations across China.

At 11pm every Sunday night, it is aired on Shanghai's Documentary Channel.

For the first time, Discovery Channel will be shooting a special episode of the series in China, where Grylls will face some of the country's most forbidding environments.

The shooting will probably begin in September and the episode is scheduled to air in February 2010.

Grylls typically is dropped into to an extremely inhospitable environment and puts himself in the place of a hapless tourist or lost adventurer.

He uses his British Special Services survival skills to escape.

"This is a compelling series that captures the spirit of exploration, endurance, adventure and the strength of the human spirit," says Chang Fang, senior vice president and general manager China of Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific.

The special episode will feature stunning landscapes, famed tourist destinations, as well as Chinese history and culture.

During filming, Discovery will host a training and survival camp for China's outdoor enthusiasts. Grylls and other experts in wilderness adventure will share their skills and experience.

Since "Man vs Wild" premiered globally in 2006, it has been shot in extreme terrain in Australia, Africa, Europe and the United States. It is entering its fifth season.

Grylls is a former British Special Forces Unit operative and was the youngest British climber to reach the summit of Mt Everest.

He grew up on the Isle of Wight in the UK, where he started to climb with his father as a young boy.

The karate black belt served three years with the Special Air Service and broke his back in three places in a parachuting mishap in South Africa. He went on to climb the world's tallest mountain.

In each episode, Grylls shows people how to survive the toughest environments on the planet by putting himself in the position of a stranded or lost tourist.

He uses the survival skills he learned in the army to escape and make his way back out.

He parachutes or otherwise arrives in or on rain forests, deserts, waterfalls, glaciers, swamps and other inhospitable spots.

He has escaped quicksand in the Moab Desert in the US state of Utah, navigated dangerous river currents in Costa Rica, built a snow shelter in the Alps, speared fish and captured and devoured vermin to survive.

One of Grylls fans is Wang Yongfeng, captain of the Chinese National Mountaineering Team, who escorted the Olympic Torch Relay to the summit of Mount Everest.

He says "Man vs Wild" helps Chinese outdoor exploration fans improve their survival knowledge.

"There are a lot of practical measures that can be easily applied in tough environments," says Wang. "Exploring has its risks, but if you apply common sense and skills, you can reduce the risk."

For more "Man vs Wild" information, visit

30 great films on 30 years of reform

Thirty documentary films have been honored for their artistry and insight in depicting the sweeping changes in China during 30 years of reform and opening-up.

The films focus on Chinese people whose lives have been transformed along with the nation's economy, politics and culture.

The winners included five entries by the Shanghai Media Group's Documentary Channel, Channel Young and CBN Channel. They include "I Love You, China," "Deng Xiaoping and Shanghai," "A Feel for Fashion" and "The Age of Passion."

The winners, all with strong storytelling, were selected from among 200 candidates by a panel of veteran domestic documentary film makers.

They cover all fields of endeavor, including art, film, fashion, literature and music.

The works may be rebroadcast later this year.


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