Bear Grylls has said that Gareth Southgate experienced “raw terror” as he led the England manager though the British wilderness during filming for a new programme.
Survival expert Grylls put the “national legend” through his paces in a series of challenges which saw the former centre-half abseil a fort before being airlifted by a Royal Marines Chinook helicopter.
ITV’s Bear’s Mission With Gareth Southgate sees the manager, who masterminded the Three Lions’ progress to the semi-finals at the World Cup in Russia, swap the dugout for the unforgiving moorlands of Dartmoor.
Grylls said: “He definitely had some moments of raw terror but he never backed away and took on everything we had to tackle with total commitment and courage.
“You’ve got to admire that, when someone is so far out of their comfort zone but still giving their all. I was impressed by his attitude to never give up.”
The former SAS serviceman, 44, said it had be fascinating hearing how the national manager had overcome adversity in his career.
He said: “Just hearing some of his stories, like the real truth behind the waistcoat for example or his battles with dealing with failure after his ‘96 penalty moment. It is what humanises the great man.”
“[The trip] reaffirmed why he is so loved – he leads by example and is a very private family man, away from the pitch and day job. I like that.”
He said Dartmoor’s “ferocious weather” and the pair’s extraction by helicopter remained his enduring memories of the trip.
He said: “Our pretty intense extraction by the Royal Marines at the end. Gareth’s grandfather was a former commando and to have done this journey and to end being extracted by a military chopper was very special for him. We were cold, soaked and stinking, but so proud.
“It was such a privilege to take a national legend like Gareth on an adventure of this scale. He is so loved and admired by so many that to see him, away from football, just as a regular guy is a rare insight.
“He did so well though and we had some ferocious weather to deal with down in Dartmoor, the training ground of the commandos.”
Bear’s Mission With Gareth Southgate airs at 9pm on December 20 on ITV.