TV adventurer and chief scout Bear Grylls has described how he starts every day by kneeling in prayer. He said he "desperately" needs his Christian faith and that he has "no problem" with gay marriage. He is ambivalent about organised religion, however.
The former SAS soldier who made his name on television with Man vs Wild and Born Survivor was speaking while filming a new series, Bear Grylls' Survival School, for broadcast next year. He has also recorded a programme with Barack Obama, to go out later this year, when he taught survival techniques to the US President in the Alaskan wilderness.
In spite of being worth many millions of pounds, Grylls told Radio Times that he is not motivated by money and seeks succour instead in his family, health and faith.
"I really, desperately have learnt in my life that I need my faith, and I'm just not strong enough on my own. I try to start every day by kneeling down and saying, 'Lord Jesus, I ain't got it all right, and I'm nervous about today. I will give it my all, but will you help me?' It's never more complicated than that. 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."
He confessed it had taken some time to "summon up the courage" to talk publicly about his faith and believes British audiences might find it "peculiar". He has "no problem at all with gay marriage", and makes a distinction between personal faith and wider religious doctrine.
"I really struggle with religion just because it's the source of so much conflict and disunity," he said. "The heart of Christianity is just about saying, 'I need help, and will you be beside me?' And I don't think anyone has a problem with that. What they don't want is religion – and I totally get that."
He said he wants to pioneer a new brand of adventure and natural history television, where he does stunts alongside celebrating wildlife and the environment. "If it's just natural history it can be a bit dry. When Attenborough was 25 it was totally not dry because it was totally new, but to do something for young people now, it needs that adventure, I think, to inspire them."
He also said he was unrepentant about posting online a picture of his son Jesse, now aged 12, on a rocky outcrop as part of lifeboat training exercise, for which he received some criticism.
"They asked me to do the exercise, they took the pictures, and all of the local RNLI love it," he said.