Bear Grylls and US President Barack Obama in a scene from Running Wild with Bear Grylls.
Bear Grylls and US President Barack Obama in a scene from Running Wild with Bear Grylls. Deborah Schildt

Mr President set loose in the wilds of Alaska

US President Barack Obama will be taught survival techniques when he joins Bear Grylls on an adventure into the Alaskan wilderness.

Viewers are promised "a side of the Commander In Chief that they've never seen before" during Running Wild with Bear Grylls.

The intrepid duo journeys across a glacial outwash and travel through a dense forest on their way to Alaska's Exit Glacier, where they see the effects of climate change first hand.

Grylls offers the President a unique taste of the Alaskan wilderness, when the two men cook bear-gnawed, half-eaten salmon and chat around their campfire.

"This has got to be one of the best days of my Presidency," Obama tells the camera shortly before Bear Grylls feeds him a piece of the bear's rejected dinner.

"Why wouldn't the bear finish this sucker? This looks like a nice lookin' piece of fish," asked Obama, who declared the cooked dish "tasty" but said he would have preferred it served with a cracker.

The film was hatched when Obama reached out to the adventurer to ask him if they could explore the Alaskan wilderness together.

The pair hiked along the Exit Glacier, a south Alaskan river of ice that has shrunk by two kilometres in recent decades.

"Every once in a while if I do something unexpected the phrase we use is 'the bear is loose' so to be with Bear in the woods, it doesn't get any better than that," the President said.

The film is a coup for Grylls, 41, the old Etonian former SAS reservist, who has become a major television star in the United States.

Obama flouted Secret Service protocols to take part in the challenge, said Grylls, who has set up his own Survival Academy teaching self-rescue techniques.

Earlier this year the President invited Sir David Attenborough to the White House to discuss the broadcaster's career and threats to the natural world.

Other celebrities to appear on the second season of Running Wild, premiering in February, include Kate Winslet, Kate Hudson, Michelle Rodriguez and Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

Running Wild with Bear Grylls and President Barack Obama airs tonight at 6.30pm Qld, 7.30pm NSW on Foxtel's Discovery Channel.



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