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Bear Grylls left terrified by Oval Office visit

Published 26/04/2016

Bear Grylls and Barack Obama
Bear Grylls and Barack Obama

Bear Grylls and his family were taken underground when the White House went into lockdown during their visit, but the explorer insists the experience was "brilliant".

Bear Grylls was more scared visiting President Obama's Oval Office than taking the world leader into the Alaskan wilderness.

The explorer was joined by the U.S. president for Bear Goes Wild with Barack Obama, which aired on Channel 4 last December (15). Following the jaunt, which saw Bear give Obama some difficult and unsavoury tasks as they trekked in Alaska, the president invited the TV star and his family to visit him at the White House.

They took him up on the offer this March (16), but Bear admits he found the experience more terrifying than many of his most high-octane daredevil stunts.

"We went in the Easter holiday, took the family there, and it's funny, in many ways it was more scary because suddenly you're in his territory - suits, tie and the boys were all terrified," Bear said during an interview on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday (26Apr16). "Anyway, we had this amazing time in the Oval Office, but as we walked out, all the marines that we had high fived on the way in suddenly went into ninja mode. The President went left, we were ushered right into this room and basically the White House went into lockdown because it was exactly the same time as the Capitol Hill shooting.

"I think someone tried to climb the White House fence too, so everyone thought the whole thing was under attack. Then the marines came in and then this person took us underground, out past the Situation Room."

But the incident was anything but scary for Bear and his three sons, as the explorer insists they all described the lockdown as a "brilliant" thing to experience.

Bear is now gearing up to swap the small screen for the big stage for his upcoming tour Endeavour: Your Adventure Awaits, and he insists it's nothing like what you've experienced before.

"It's taken two years to put together, we've worked with these Cirque du Soleil choreographers, using all this live mapping technology which is all the stuff that makes you feel like everything's coming alive in the arena. So we are basically showcasing, celebrating, some of the greatest feats of human endeavour," he smiled.

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