Actor Warwick Davis is no stranger to fantasy adventures, but does he enjoy the real thing? We’re about to find out as the Peterborough resident stars in a new TV series with Bear Grylls.
Warwick was just 11 when he made his movie debut as an Ewok in Return of the Jedi. He played the title role in Willow, took two parts in the Harry Potter movies and has continued to crop up in the Star Wars universe, most recently in Solo.
Well, it seems that when he’s not on a film set, one of his favourite places to be is the Lake District, where he’s enjoyed countless family holidays. However, by his own admission, he doesn’t really spend those breaks scaling the region’s mountains.....until now!
Warwick said: “We all have dwarfism in our family. We’re not built for climbing up things, but we still enjoy the beauty of the place - from the car. The climbing I do is climbing around in the kitchen, to reach things I can’t get in the top cupboards. It’s not something you do when you’re 48 is it?”
Bear Grylls would clearly beg to differ, as in this one-off he’s about to show Warwick a side of the Lake District he’s never experienced during a trip that’s going to be anything but a holiday.
It doesn’t get off to the most promising start when Bear arrives in a helicopter at their planned meeting spot, only to find Warwick isn’t there. Luckily, it isn’t due to the actor getting cold feet - Warwick has turned up, but he’s in the wrong location.
Warwick added: “Nothing looks the same on a map as it does in real life. I feel like I’m on a date with someone and they’ve stood me up. I’m all ready to go, dressed to impress and my date’s not here.”
Fortunately, Bear spots him, and after picking him up on the from the edge of a cliff, their adventure begins with a difficult rock climb that leaves Warwick wondering what exactly he’s let himself in for. He tells viewers: “The thing I’ve learnt about Bear Grylls is keep him at a safe distance behind your television screen, because in real life, he’s a nightmare.”
Hopefully though, the two will get a chance to bond as they attempt to catch fish in a nearby river, share an unusual snack (and we’re not talking about local delicacy and climbers’ favourite Kendal Mint Cake) and abseil down a sheer 200-foot drop.
During their expedition, they also talk about some of the obstacles Warwick has faced as a result of his condition, SED, or Spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia.
He explains: “In life, as a little person, you have to be quite resourceful. The world is not designed for somebody short.”
Bear is certainly impressed with his travel companion’s willingness to face a challenge, saying: “This journey was such a special one for me. Warwick smashed through so many of the stereotypes of who can adventure and what people can do!”
But will the Lake District still be Warwick’s favourite place after this.
Bear’s Mission with Warwick Davis starts on Tuesday June 26 on ITV at 9pm.