There was growing concern for the safety of survivalist icon, Bear Grylls, last night following his failure to make contact with his team after spending his third week in the labyrinth of the Whitechapel branch of furniture retail giant, IKEA.
Despite warnings from close friends and fellow adventurers, Grylls entered the cavernous building on Boxing Day, telling his family that he wanted to get a new sink for the downstairs bathroom while the sale was on.
At the end of his first week inside the building, he made radio contact with his base camp in nearby Aldgate. He told his team that he had become hopelessly lost in the soft furnishings section on the first floor and had been spending nights sleeping in a reclining chair.
In his final message, some 3 hours later, he said that he was hoping to make an attempt to reach bathroom supplies at first light.
Since then there has been complete radio silence and there is growing concern that he may have accidentally wandered into the electrical wall and ceiling fittings section and become confused and disorientated by the flashing chandelier-style lights, or that he may have taken the wrong escalator and become lost in the forbidding depths of the 20,000 square metres basement.
Fellow survivalist, Ray Mears, expressed his concern for Grylls’ safety last night: “I warned Bear not to risk it alone, or to at least take a GPS device so that his movements could be tracked at all times.
“I dread to think what may have happened to him. If he’s wandered into the stylish wall prints section I fear it may well be all up for him.”
Grylls’ plight mirrors the doomed expedition by legendary British explorer, Captain Robert Falcon Scott, who was lost with 7 companions while trying to find a set of matching bean bags in contemporary furnishings giant, Habitat, in Bow in January 1906.