Ray Mears

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For other people named Ray Mears, see Ray Mears (disambiguation).
Ray Mears
Ray mears optics.jpg
Mears in 2013
Born (1964-02-07) 7 February 1964 (age 50)
Kenley, Coulsdon and Purley, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
Nationality English
Occupation Television presenter, Author
Years active 1994 - present
Employer ITV
Known for Bushcraft
Spouse(s)

Rachel Mears (m. 2005–06)

Ruth Mears (m. 2009)

Raymond Paul Mears (born 7 February 1964) is an English woodsman, instructor, author and TV presenter. His TV appearances cover bushcraft and survival techniques and is best known for the TV series Ray Mears' Bushcraft, Ray Mears' World of Survival, Extreme Survival, Survival with Ray Mears, Wild Britain with Ray Mears and Ray Mears Goes Walkabout.

Life and work[edit]

Early life[edit]

Mears attended Downside Preparatory School in Purley and then Reigate Grammar School where he was a member of the naval cadre of the combined cadet force. His ambition was to join the Royal Marines but his hopes of doing so were dashed when he failed the eyesight test. After taking A-levels, Mears worked briefly in an office in the City of London.[1]

Career[edit]

Mears first appeared on television in 1994 presenting the BBC series Tracks and then, in 1997, Ray Mears' World of Survival. In 2003, he presented the BBC documentary Ray Mears' Real Heroes of Telemark about the Norwegian heavy water sabotage mission during World War II. While filming a documentary in Wyoming in 2005, Mears was involved in a serious accident. The helicopter in which he and his camera crew were travelling struck the ground during a steep low level turn, and broke apart, rolling to a stop. The fuel tank was ruptured in the accident and escaping fuel covered Mears and the crew. No fire occurred, and Mears was able to escape the wreckage uninjured and assist in the rescue and administer first aid to one of the crew who was badly hurt.[2]

On 29 May 2008, Mears appeared on The Graham Norton Show where he attempted unsuccessfully to light a fire using a bow drill. Unbeknownst to Mears, the entire set had been sprayed with fire-retardant.[3]

In 2009, Mears was approached by ITV to present a planned revival of nature documentary series Survival.[4] The resulting three-part series was rebranded Survival with Ray Mears and broadcast on ITV1 in 2010. Each episode followed Mears as he used his tracking skills to locate bears, wolves and leopards. In a Radio Times interview to promote the series, Mears complained of being typecast by the BBC with the result that he was not offered the opportunity to present wildlife programmes.[5] He then presented Wild Britain with Ray Mears, which also broadcast by ITV.

Mears was a guest on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs in January 2014. [6] His choices were "Jumpin' Jack Flash" by the Rolling Stones, "English Rose" by the Jam, "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" by the Beatles, "Annie's Song" by John Denver, "Maria" by Blondie, "Suddenly I See" by KT Tunstall, "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" by Elton John and "Feeling Good" by Nina Simone.[6]

In July 2010, Mears was asked by Northumbria Police to help them track fugitive killer Raoul Moat, after he fled his temporary tent-based shelter in the village of Rothbury.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Mears met his partner, Rachel in 1992 when she attended one of his five-day survival courses. The couple lived in East Sussex with her two adult children and married in 2005, after Rachel was diagnosed with breast cancer. Rachel died in 2006, aged 50, and her ashes are scattered in Ashdown Forest near their home.[8]

Mears currently resides in Sussex with his wife Ruth and stepson.[9]

Series[edit]

Books[edit]

  • The Survival Handbook (1990)
  • The Outdoor Survival Handbook (1992)
  • Ray Mears' World of Survival (1997)
  • Bushcraft (2002)
  • Essential Bushcraft (2003)
  • The Real Heroes of Telemark: The True Story of the Secret Mission to Stop Hitler's Atomic Bomb (2003)
  • Ray Mears' Bushcraft Survival (2005)
  • Wild Food by Ray Mears & Professor Gordon Hillman (2007)
  • Ray Mears Goes Walkabout (2008)
  • Vanishing World - A Life of Bushcraft (2008)
  • Northern Wilderness (2009)
  • My Outdoor Life (2013)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ray Mears (12 September 2013). My Outdoor Life. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 1444778196. 
  2. ^ Danziger, Danny (1 June 2008). "Best of times worst of times Ray Mears". The Times (London). Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (2 April 2009). "Survival of the fittest as ITV wildlife show returns". London: The Guardian. 
  5. ^ "Ray Mears: "I was typecast by the BBC"". Digital Spy. 16 April 2010. 
  6. ^ a b BBC, Radio 4. "Desert Island Discs". Ray Mears as guest. BBC. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  7. ^ Sims, Paul (20 July 2010). "TV survival expert Ray Mears was drafted in by police to hunt for fugitive killer Raoul Moat". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  8. ^ Thorne, Frank (9 July 2008). "TV survival guru Ray Mears on death of his wife". London: "The Mirror". 
  9. ^ "Interview: Ray Mears on his survival skills". The Scotsman (Edinburgh). 21 September 2013. 
  10. ^ Katsoulis, Melissa (25 April 2008). "Ray Mears discusses bushcraft and his new book about the Australian outback". London: The Times. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 

External links[edit]