TV adventurer Bear Grylls has revealed he will be standing down as Chief Scout later this year.

Bear Grylls to stand down as Chief Scout

TV adventurer Bear Grylls has revealed he will be standing down as Chief Scout later this year.

The 50-year-old presenter has been the figurehead of the UK Scouts for 15 years.

At his appointment in 2009, aged 34, he was the youngest ever Chief Scout. In 2018 he took on the additional role of Chief Ambassador of World Scouting.

A statement from the Scouts said: “He remains the public face of the Scouts in the UK. He inspired the movement through a period of unprecedented growth, he’s helped thousands of young people to gain new skills, try new things, and look to the future with optimism.

“More information will be available later in the year about Bear’s next steps.”

Some newspapers have already claimed the move is in response to Bear Grylls’ friendship with controversial actor and YouTuber Russell Brand.

Last year, Brand faced allegations of sexual assault as a result of a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary. The 49-year-old former stand-up comedian denies the allegations.

Brand recently became a devout Christian and, last month, shared images on social media of him being baptised in the River Thames by Bear Grylls, saying the ceremony was an “opportunity to leave the past behind”.

The pair struck up an unlikely friendship while filming a 2023 episode of Running Wild in the Hebrides.

The Daily Mail has suggested the friendship, coupled with the allegations, has made the Scouting movement’s hierarchy uncomfortable.

Taking to Facebook last night, Grylls himself responded to the news.

“Ideally we would have kept the news quiet until September but these things sometimes get out! But yes we have planned that I will be passing on the role of UK’s Chief Scout later this year,” he said,

“This will mark the end of three x 5 year terms as Chief and a total of 15 years in the role. Longer than I ever dreamt of, but undoubtedly the greatest honour of my life.

“The kindness and commitment of our young people and volunteers is incredible. Such inspirations. And I’m so proud that since 2009 when I joined, over 2 million people have been through Scouts in the UK.

“Together we accomplished everything we set out to do – grown our movement and helped millions of young people gain skills for life and access to adventure and the outdoors.

“But like every Chief Scout before me, there is a time to pass on this honour to a new person (who we will announce in due course). I will of course continue as Chief Ambassador to World Scouting, helping support the global movement of some 65 million international scouts. That mission is huge and a continued focus for me, to spread the values of respect, loyalty, family, cheerfulness in adversity and courage.

“But I want to thank everyone in our UK Scouting family for your support, love and encouragement over 15 years. Friends for life. Skills for life. You’re the best… 🙏🏻 Bear.”

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