You have to hand it to Bear Grylls. Not only does he live up to his nom de guerre by devouring whole, un-gutted fish in the wilderness, he is also a one-man marketing machine. Seemingly made for TV, with great looks, charisma and pedigree, the camera just eats him up. He blogs on fansites, he guest stars on talk shows, he owns an island with its own nature preserve and he lives on the River Thames in London with his wife and two sons in a converted barge. It's a pretty picture. Not so pretty are the feats Grylls performs as the star of Man vs Wild, produced by British television production company Diverse Bristol. The show starts its first season tomorrow on the Discovery Channel at 10pm. Known as Born Survivor: Bear Grylls in Britain, the show follows the former sabre soldier (highly trained in unarmed combat, survival and climbing, among other things) as he survives harsh conditions with minimal resources in the wild and finds his way back to civilisation. In the pilot episode, we see Grylls spat out of a plane at an altitude of 3,000 metres straight into the Rocky Mountains. Stretching 4,800km up the west side of North America, the Rockies are a popular wilderness destination that claim the lives of 2,000 visitors each year, making them the perfect backdrop for Grylls' adventures. Yet, as the macho man parachutes into a tree and negotiates an 18-metre drop to the ground, you wonder how much of the show's drama is staged. When Grylls has to shoot freezing-cold rapids with only a backpack as a raft, the producers want you to think the only players here are Grylls and Mother Nature and the cameras have just chanced upon him in all the right angles. Grylls, meanwhile, contends that the crew is 'under very strict instructions not to get involved or help' unless he is in a potentially fatal situation. Wilderness TV has come a long way since National Geographic Society launched on CBS in 1965, with its first special: Americans on Everest. If it is the true spirit of lone survival you are looking for, you'd best wait for your next trip State-side, where Canadian show Survivorman has been airing on the Discovery Channel. Unfortunately, there are no plans for it to be brought to Hong Kong in the near future. Like Grylls, the show's host, Les Stroud, is stranded in various wild environments. The crucial difference is that, except for footage of him arriving at each setting, the content is filmed entirely by Stroud. The presenter has said that dealing with the camera equipment takes up 65 per cent of his time, which doesn't leave long for battling the elements. Both wilderness experts have to deal with loneliness on their adventures. Stroud plays his harmonica and Grylls talks to the camera about how he misses his family. Needless to say, there is a person standing behind the camera Grylls' brimming eyes are peering into, albeit a long-haired cameraman. But I can't deny Man vs Wild is a highly enjoyable show, not least because Grylls knows how to ham it up. There is a joy and artistry to his survival techniques that make inspiring viewing. Take the fish he catches in a mudpool in the Rockies, for example. After cleaning them, he proceeds to build an 'oven' in which to roast them. With a relish that calls to mind Jamie Oliver as he chops juicy tomatoes for a pasta dish, Grylls shows us how to pack half a hollowed tree trunk with a layer of mud, then green leaves, place the fish on top then cover with more leaves and, finally, more mud. As he watches the fire burn, his mud-encrusted face crinkles in earnest anticipation. 'If all goes well, it should take about 20 minutes to cook perfectly. It's going to be so delicious.' Also based in the US but in a different kind of wilderness is Numb3rs, the third season of which begins on AXN on Tuesday. Set in the urban sprawl of Los Angeles, Numb3rs follows the crime-solving adventures of two brothers, FBI Special Agent Don Eppes (Rob Morrow, Northern Exposure; above, centre left) and his maths genius brother Charlie Eppes (David Krumholtz, Ten Things I Hate About You; above, centre right). The episodes are formulaic: a death, or a series of them, occurs as the show opens; Agent Eppes' team is assigned to the case; they spend the rest of the show narrowing down suspects with the help of the younger Eppes and his maths cronies at CalSci University; and they inevitably catch the bad guy. The show tries to change the public perception of mathematics being esoteric and boring by using a smart-robbers-and-smarter-cops format that recalls CSI. When Charlie Eppes barges into the FBI conference room with yet another probability equation that will shed light on the whereabouts of a killer, his explanations are accompanied by quirky graphics to help the layman understand the numeric complexity. Even for those allergic to sums, it's kind of fun. In any case, it doesn't stay on screen long enough to hurt your head. One thing the show does well is casting. Despite adhering to a stereotype, Judd Hirsch (above, far left) plays the long-suffering, chess-playing Jewish dad with real soul. Peter MacNicol (Ally McBeal) is brilliant as the kooky, intellectual physicist who mentored Charlie at CalSci and is now his friend and confidant. Less conventionally, FBI agent Megan Reeves (Diane Farr; above, second left) is a warm and earthy character, with body language that is more suggestive of a Gucci-loving interior designer than a gun-toting federal agent. Somehow, it works. Krumholtz, however, has by far the best-engineered image. One might remember him from the 1993 film Addams Family Values, in which his nerdy misfit at camp shared a kiss with Christina Ricci's Wednesday Addams, or as the bespectacled Shakespeare-fan in Ten Things I Hate About You who goes to his senior prom dressed as the bard (read: tights and a frilly collar). Let's just say Krumholtz's track record is littered with pocket protectors and trousers pulled up too high. Charlie Eppes is a different story. His nerd credentials are indisputable - check out his inability to peel himself away from a theorem for long enough to take his girlfriend out to dinner, for example - but, with artfully messy curls and tweed jackets that fit just right, Krumholtz cuts a figure that will give hope to all aspiring maths whizzes. Finally, get your DVD or VHS recorder ready for tomorrow morning's Concert For Diana (Star World, 10am). Ten years after the car accident that claimed her life, princes William and Harry commemorate what would have been their mother's 46th birthday. The concert, which will be broadcast on delayed feed from Britain, is a celebration of Diana's life as a humanist, a loving parent and an inspiration for people worldwide. The celebrity guest list and performers at Wembley Stadium include Sir Elton John, Joss Stone, Bryan Ferry, Kanye West, Duran Duran and rapper P. Diddy.