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Married to the wild

In Season 2 of Man, Woman, Wild -- survival expert Mykel Hawke and his TV journalist wife Ruth England put their survival skills and marriage to the ultimate test, as they travel from the Bermuda Triangle to the jungles of Columbia. Lhendup G Bhutia caught up with the couple

How did you'll meet?

Ruth England: We were married in 2005. Our marriage was fairly instant. I was hosting a show for Fox TV in Jamaica, and we were out there for four months, and it was a high budget affair with lots of hair and makeup and luxurious, lovely things like that, and Myke was head of security. He gave me very comprehensive medical care and looked after me well.

What makes this show different from other shows?
Ruth England: What makes it (the show) different, is our compatibility. There's obviously a variety of survival shows on Discovery Channel. So having me there, a female and a novice, I think has resonated with a lot of folk, particularly families.

Were there any challenges while being out in the wild that brought you both closer together as husband and wife?
Mykel Hawke: Yes, completely. I really believe men and women balance each other out. If you're out there with just a bunch of your army buds, then you know, you all get hard-core about things and it gets quite intense. Whereas, having a woman out there brings that compassion and kindness that keeps your humanity.

What were your toughest tasks?
Ruth England: Well, I'm walking dead because I was a full-time mum until our little boy was three, and then I put him into nursery and went straight into full-time work, so there was no gap between nappy-changing and going into the jungle. To me, that was the most traumatic part of it, you know, leaving the little boy.

Did you'll have any extreme surprises in 'surviving'?
Ruth England: There was one time when we were in Peru and Myke was filming, they told me to just, to stand to the side for a bit, so I went and sat on a log and I  felt something wiggle under my bottom. Of course, none of this was on camera, because they were filming Myke. I stood up and a Fer de Lance 9 (a kind of snake), which kills more people in South America than any other snake, just wriggled out from underneath me. There is a medic on hand, in case we get into severe difficulties. But having those few people there doesn't make us immune to the dangers.

It's quite funny, because when you're out there, you find yourself slotted into fairly traditional sexist roles, like Myke will chop down trees for shelter and there are things that I would like to be doing, but I just don't have the muscle mass for it. So I've found that I do a lot more lateral thinking when I'm out there and often that's saved the day. Because he's been powering through like Rambo and I've thought, "Ooh, why don't we try this?"

At: 10 pm, daily, Discovery Channel

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