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Orion pays over £1 million for Bear Grylls thriller series

DAN RANGER. Breathe that name in: DAN. RANGER. Magnificent. Like a piece of Alan Partridge-penned Chris Ryan fanfic made wonderfully real. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Orion has ‘paid a healthy seven figure sum‘ for UK and Commonwealth rights to a series of novels by noted TV pee-drinker Bear Grylls, the former SAS soldier, adventurer, ecologist and sometime swallower of his own urine made famous by his TV shows wherein he has survivalist adventures and occasionally sups from a nice tall glass of yellow. The novels will centre around one Dan Ranger (DAN. RANGER.), a former SAS soldier, adventurer and ecologist, who may or may not chug his own excretions when the chips are down. Given that Grylls already seems like a character who could only exist in Jeremy Clarkson’s sweatiest dreams, the apparent similarities between him and his protagonist can only be an asset in this case, even if said protagonist doesn’t have quite so silly a name (DAN. RANGER.)

Grylls is co-writing the series with Damien Lewis (not Damian Lewis), a former journalist and author of non-fiction. Ghost Flight, the pair’s first book together, is due for publication in May 2015. There now follows, without additional comment, a glorious sentence from Orion’s press release on the novels: ‘The Dan Ranger [DAN. RANGER. – ed.] series builds upon Bear Grylls’ global brand by presenting characters, plot lines and narratives set within the world of extreme outdoor adventure, ecology and the elite Special Forces.’

Grylls’ ‘global brand’ includes his TV work, of course, but also several works of non-fiction – Facing Up, Facing the Frozen Ocean, True Grit, tie-ins with his TV shows – a volume of autobiography and the Mission Survival series of children’s adventure books, which will presumably differ from this new series for adults in the level of sophistication and nuance inherent in a character called Dan Ranger (DAN. RANGER.)

Speaking through Orion, Grylls says: ‘This series of novels will combine the best of Bond, Bourne, & Indiana Jones in one gripping series of books. We take the former SF soldier Dan Ranger into the murky depths of covert modern-day Nazism, gritty survival and the Special Forces brotherhood in a way we have never seen before. Hold tight for the adventure!’ DAN. RANGER.

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Chris Ward

Chris Ward

Chris Ward writes and says things about books and music and films and what have you, even when no one is reading or listening.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.

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