His reputation is as TV’s tough survival expert, a tamer of the Great Outdoors. But, in reality, Mears remains truthful to his boyhood devotion to the wildFrankly, I have been brought here under false pretences. I had been promised an interview with Ray Mears in Richmond Park. We would pitch a tent (no doubt illegally), make a fire, shoot a few deer and spend the afternoon eating venison and shouting abuse at posh passersby in green wellies. Somehow this has been transmuted into an hour with Mears at his publishers in central London, in an anonymous office on the 14th floor. I cheer up momentarily when I spot a labrador, but it belongs to his publicist. The only concession to his reputation as Britain’s guide to the Great Outdoors is that he is wearing a pair of stout hiking boots. Ideal for the Euston Road.The urban setting is not entirely inappropriate, because Mears is surprisingly urbane. It’s hard to imagine him wrestling an alligator, or even a labrador. He is friendly, podgy, earnest. Fifty next year, he has decided to mark the occasion by writing his autobiography, which is not the expected tale of derring-do but the unlikely story of …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books