Bear Grylls has said that learning about the “struggle and battle” Cara Delevingne faced because of her mother’s heroin addiction has inspired him.
The TV personality invited the Hollywood actress and catwalk star on to his survival skills programme Running Wild, in which he takes celebrities on two-day trips into the wilderness.
Delevingne, 27, joined the former SAS serviceman, 45, for a trek across the mountains of Sardinia, later saying she had been his favourite guest of the series because she was not a “typical Hollywood star”.
He said: “I think the great strength of Running Wild is that you have time on these journeys to get to know the real person and to hear their stories.
“It’s not like a chat show where you’re just trying to tell a funny story for two minutes. When you have to spend two days together, you really get to know someone.
“She had so many battles growing up with a mother who was a heroin addict and her whole dynamic through school, and I just thought she’s such an inspirational person for so many people.
“To see her in such an unguarded, real way as she was on our adventure together, I loved. I found it really inspiring to take her away and I thought people are going to love you, and rightly so, because she’s never given up, and that’s the heart of Running Wild.
“It means you just have to go for things. You have to face some fears. You have to keep moving forward and never give up, and that’s been her life story.
“I think that was the surprising one but a real joy for me and a pleasure to do.”
Delevingne, who attended the fee-paying Bedales School in Hampshire, has previously spoken about how she became depressed aged 15 when she discovered her mother’s heroin addiction.
Grylls said their journey differed to that of former guests Julia Roberts and Roger Federer because Delevingne “fits into this really interesting space”.
He added: “She’s a supermodel on one hand and an actor on the other hand, and an icon for so many young people on the other hand.
“She has something like 45 million or 50 million Instagram followers, which many of these Hollywood stars don’t have followings like that.
“Her story has been one of struggle and battle to get to where she is that many of her followers don’t really know that.”
Running Wild returns this month with a star-studded cast including Captain Marvel’s Brie Larson, Magic Mike’s Channing Tatum and Armie Hammer.
Grylls said Hammer, who starred alongside Timothee Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name, had become a “good friend” following their adventures through Sardinia.
He also revealed that the Golden Globe-nominated US actor had gone to extreme lengths to find sustenance on their gruelling journey.
He said: “I think for me seeing Armie Hammer drinking milk from the nipple of a goat was definitely a new one.
“I thought we’d just squeeze the teat and we’ll get some milk and it will give us some energy for the rest of the journey, but he dived in for it and it was pretty funny.”
Grylls, who was last year honoured with an OBE for services to young people, the media and charity, said he hoped the UK could be “great partners” with Europe following Brexit.
He said: “I try and keep out of politics, but of course I’m always a proud British taxpayer, and I’m a very proud British citizen, and I’m also a proud part of Europe as well.
“I think, as we all develop, the world has to come closer together and we have to support each other, but Brexit is Brexit.
“That all seems to be happening and let’s hope we can all be great friends and great partners moving forward.
“The future of the world is all about partnership, isn’t it?”
Running Wild With Bear Grylls airs from January 19 on National Geographic, starting with Brie Larson’s adventure across the Pearl Islands in Panama.