When you go on holiday, you probably at least try and learn a few of the basic phrases, like “un beero por favour” (that's right isn't it?). Hell, you might even sling on a Mexican hat and feel like quite the local. But Bruce Parry takes this to a whole new level in his TV series, Tribe. Bruce doesn't settle for simply asking the way to the local train station (Où est la gare – we all remember that one surely?) and it certainly isn't enough for Bruce to prop himself up at the bar of an all inclusive hotel in Tenerife learning where the best local tattoo shops are. No, no, for Bruce, it's all about getting in with local tribes, learning their culture and customs, and fully adopting their mantras for months at a time. Think we'll stick to flying Ryan Air and slumming it with the rest of them if it's all the same to you Brucie, but urm, bon voyage and all that.
Like a Ray Mears that's discovered that there's more to life than wearing khaki, Bruce travels to some of the remotest parts of the world, including the Himalayas, Mongolia and West Paupau – which we think we can be pretty safe in saying aren't likely to have a Club Med anywhere around. Bruce is an ex British Royal Marine and he also went to boarding school, so you can be pretty certain he knows a thing or two about survival - but we also bargain he's never done it in a toga while wearing a wooden necklace. Ah, how the lads would bully him.
Bruce isn't mucking about though. Along with learning from the different tribes about smoking out bees (which, as it turns out, is one of the few things Bruce is actually scared of. Who'da thunk it?) and how to hunt wild animals, Bruce also uncovers information about cocaine, slavery and various disease epidemics amongst tribes in the Amazon. Basically, it's a bit like David Attenborough: The Bits They Cut Out. If David Attenborough had gone berserk and turned hunter-gatherer, that is. Anyway, you get the idea. Basically, if you thought that the other celebs had a rough time of it in the Big Brother house living with Jedward, you ain't seen nothing yet.
It's not all bad though – living with the tribes and having to do as they do provides Bruce with a handy excuse to take up smoking. This isn't like at school behind the bike sheds though – Bruce gets quite a hit from a huge bamboo pipe with no filter and just about manages to stop coughing long enough to speak. You wouldn't catch us at Dave doing such a thing, largely because there's not much bamboo lying around. We're kidding of course. Why, we can hardly hear what Bruce is saying over all the tutting – or is that puffing? Anyway – Bruce also takes some drugs as part of an initiation ceremony (he panics so much he even checks his pulse), but honestly, aside from all this naughtiness, there is a lot to be learned from Bruce's travels.
From cheering up a tribe by allowing them to see their own reflections in his camera screen, to learning how to asphyxiate fish in order to make them easier to catch, Bruce certainly learns a thing or two about living in the wild. Puts us to shame really – we moan if our Tesco delivery is 10 minutes late. If you fancy getting down and dirty in some of the most exotic and flabbergasting places on this epic planet of ours, Bruce is your man.