Escape to the Legion with Bear Grylls
About the Show
Bear Grylls heads to the Sahara with 11 volunteers to find out what being in the French Foreign Legion is really like
Series 1 Summary
For generations the French Foreign Legion has been romanticised as a refuge for men seeking a second chance in life. But what is it really like?
Bear Grylls sets off for the Sahara desert to find out. Along with 11 other volunteers, from ex-criminals to struggling businessmen, Bear puts himself through a month's brutal training at an ex-Legion fort in the Western Sahara that is designed to replicate the rigours of the Legion's own basic training.
The recruits discover the truth behind the Beau Geste image about the unique military culture that makes the Legion among the toughest fighting forces in the world.
In the scalding heat of the desert it becomes apparent that many of the men fall short of the physical and psychological qualities they need to survive their training
Three days into legionnaire life, the recruits are wishing they'd never been born. Bear is punished for a minor misdemeanour by being buried up to his neck in sand.
Halfway through, three of the recruits have already left and the remaining volunteers are dropping like flies with the medics battling to keep them on their feet
It's the final week of training. But before any recruits can pass, they must survive two days of training in the desert, an eight-kilometre run in full combat gear and a 40km march to the sea.