Channel 4 has commissioned a new six-part documentary series, Kings of the Jungle (w/t) from Twenty Twenty productions.

In the show, explorer and former British Army captain Ed Stafford sets up an extreme survival school that will put struggling modern dads and their children through some of the toughest outdoor challenges on the planet.

 Ed Stafford believes that modern British dads are in trouble. They’re becoming too soft, too comfortable, and too risk-averse – they’ve lost touch with their purpose as male role models. Ed passionately believes that his job as a father is to push, test and challenge his family in whatever way he can – to strengthen them, and turn them into better people. It’s why this year Ed has decided to leave Britain behind and take his wife Laura and their three young children to live in the jungle in Costa Rica. But they won’t be going alone… Ed’s plan is to establish an extreme wilderness adventure school, based on programmes he has been part of here in the UK, helping struggling modern dads – and their kids – by putting them both through some of the toughest outdoor experiences on the planet. By stripping all the distractions of the 21st century away, Ed thinks his wilderness camp can help them discover what it really means to be a dad.

The series follows the first cohort to go through Ed’s wilderness survival camp. Over the course of several weeks a group of ordinary, struggling, out-of-their-comfort-zone British dads – each bringing one of their kids with them – will live in the heart of the Central American jungle: sleeping in home-made shelters, catching and cooking their own food, digging toilets, building fires, dodging spiders, snakes and scorpions while dealing with boiling heat, biting insects and sky-high humidity.

In each episode they’ll also have to tackle a wilderness challenge specially designed by Ed to test both their individual characters and their relationships with one another.

Ed Stafford said: “Increasingly the odds are stacked against you as a parent. You find yourself having to swim against the tide to simply do what’s best for your kids. For me connection is everything; this isn’t about parenting techniques – that stuff is instinctive – rather this is an extreme fast-track to a deeper connection between dads and their children in a modern world where that is more tenuous and harder to achieve than ever.”

James O’Reilly, Twenty Twenty Creative Director, said, “We all know Ed as a legend of survival and adventure, but he’s also a father who is incredibly passionate and thoughtful about his role in his kids’ lives. We’re thrilled to be working with him and Channel 4 on this new format which promises to be a transformative experience for ordinary dads in Britain. We can’t wait to bring it to the screen.”

Commissioning Editors are Anna Miralis and Madonna Benjamin.

Jon Creamer

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