Jason Gardiner explains the reasons why he agreed to take part in Bear Grylls: Mission Survive. The second series starts on Thursday 3rd March at 9pm on ITV.
Why did you want to take part in Mission Survive?
That's a good question! On paper, it looks very daunting, and certainly researching the previous series is terrifying! But I'm a huge fan of Bear's. What he does is so far removed from anything I do, and I find that quite fascinating. He's a super hero to me. I find what he does, nothing short of astounding. When you live in a city, you're not exposed to any of this. Most kids don't even know where meat comes from; they think it comes neatly packaged, not from animals. I'm not sure many of us could really survive in the wild so it will be interesting to experience.
How will you feel if Bear asks you to drink your own urine?
If it was someone else's, we'd have an issue! But it's not toxic, it's just what the body can't use. The reason you're encouraged to drink it is because it does actually contain nutrients, and it does hydrate you.
What experience do you have of camping and the great outdoors?
Well I did a show called Alone in the Wild where I had to survive on my own. The isolation was terrifying, and I had rely on myself to source food and water. This is more of an expedition and there are more physical challenges. There is safety in numbers, but if you don't get on, you're stuck in the wild with people you don't like, and that could be hell. There's nowt as queer as folk, as they say, and being deprived of sleep and food can make you behave in an unusual way.
How do you think you will fit in with the group?
I'm a natural leader. I run my own creative production and design company, and when you are a choreographer, you lead the pack. I've worked with some major divas in my time, I can cope with those! But I think other people might be leaders, too. So we'll see. I'm quite good at reading people and I'll know if they are about to blow a gasket, or if they need a pep talk. I can overlook certain unfavourable behaviours because we're all overcoming certain fears and demons on this expedition.
What will your strengths and weaknesses be?
I do something 100%, or I don't do it at all. I've lived in many different countries and I'm very adaptable. I'm also strong willed. I was bullied as a child, so it means I can be resilient, light hearted and laugh at myself.
Do you have any fears?
I have a healthy fear from growing up in Australia of all things slippery and hairy and nasty. You learn from a young age what to do to avoid being bitten. In fact, part of the reason I left Australia was because I was so sick of having to check my shoes for spiders every morning. I vividly remember my mother screaming when she found a deadly brown snake in the laundry basket one day. So, although I do know what to do, it makes me very cautious and fearful. I think for people who don't know about snakes and spiders, ignorance can be bliss.
Is there anything you'd refuse to do?
That's a tough one. It's survival of the fittest, and I don't think you can have boundaries. I've got to imagine this is real and if it was, would I do it? If it was life or death, would I eat it, would I jump?
How will your day job help you?
I work with my body so I’m in touch with how it works and I can read it well.
How have you been preparing?
I'm in pretty good condition: the gym bores me to death but I've been studying aerial rope at The National Centre for Circus Arts and Vinyasa yoga which has got me in good condition. I've been cumng back on sugar and carbs, as well as my general food intake to shrink my stomach. I am pretty good at going without calories.
What creature comforts will you miss?
I have the best bed in the world. I had it custom built, and it's incredible. So I will definitely miss that. Other than that, I'm pretty low maintenance. I can do without most things.