DORSET action man Bear Grylls has been accused of faking it in his Channel 4 adventure series Born Survivor, in which he is parachuted into some of the most inhospitable places on Earth with little more than a knife and the clothes on his back.

The programmes, screened in the spring, depicted the ex-SAS man showing how to stay alive in terrain ranging from frozen mountains and dense rainforest to scorching desert.

The Eton-educated 33-year-old's stomach-churning survival tips included eating live maggots from the body of a decaying animal carcass, sucking fluid from fish eyeballs and squeezing water out of fresh elephant dung.

But now an advisor to the programme has claimed that many of the scenes were not as they seemed.

Survival expert Mark Weinert told the Sunday Times: "If you really believe everything happens the way it is shown on TV, you are being little bit naïve."

In one scene in California's Sierra Nevada, he said Mr Grylls was filmed trying to lasso "wild" horses, which were actually tame and had been brought in by trailer from a trekking centre.

Another showed him biting off a snake's head for breakfast, telling viewers he had only a water bottle, a cup and a flint for making fire, when he was staying some nights at a lakeside hotel.

Mr Grylls was also staying in a hotel in Hawaii while filming an episode where he claimed to be a "real-life Robinson Crusoe" stuck on a desert island.

Channel 4 has confirmed that Mr Grylls used hotels during expeditions and has ordered the production company that made the show to investigate the other claims.

In an interview before the series was screened, Mr Grylls said Channel 4 told him to do what he had to in order to survive.

"They made it very clear that it could be very raw and very real."

A spokesman for the chan-nel said: "Bear does his own stunts and does put himself in perilous situations.

"Born Survivor is not an observational documentary series, but a how to' guide to basic survival techniques in extreme environments."

He added: "The programme explicitly does not claim that the presenter's experience is one of unaided solo survival."

Mr Grylls regularly visit his widowed mother Lady Sally Grylls at her home near Wimborne, but neither was available for comment.