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There's an oft-repeated claim that verteran British actor and explorer Brian Blessed punched a polar bear in the face while on an Arctic expedition. Apparently he himself has made this claim in interviews. Here's an example of the claim, from an article 7 Reasons Why Brian Blessed is the Best Human:

He is the oldest man ever to reach the North Pole and the Magnetic North Pole. Whilst there, he punched a polar bear – and I’m quoting the man himself directly here – “straight in its f***ing face.”

I'm not currently able to view video but apparently there is a clip of the man himself making this claim on comedic chat show The Kumars at No. 42. Here it is on Youtube, and here it is on Sky.com.

I've always assumed it couldn't be true - but there are many things about Brian Blessed's life which seem ridiculous and unbelievable but none-the-less appear to be true.

It's one of those popular stories that turns up in surprising places. For example, here's an artists' impression of what this scene might have looked like, from popular internet MS Paint artist Jim'll Paint It:

enter image description here

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    The Kumars is a comedy show, not a chat show. – DJClayworth Aug 5 '15 at 16:37
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    I meant it as shorthand for The Kumars at No. 42, which is a chat show-sitcom hybrid. Wasn't aware there was a 2014 comedy show of the same name, have edited – user568458 Aug 5 '15 at 17:39
  • That's the show I meant. – DJClayworth Aug 5 '15 at 17:42
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I haven't been able to find corroboration from the others on the expedition, however as you linked, the man himself described the encounter on live TV. He said there were eleven others, so if he was lying I suspect they would have called him out.

It seems plausible too- apparently it's the most sensitive part of the bear and is recommended by Inuits, as described by this article and even by Polar Bears International.

Numerous sources confirm he was the oldest person to reach the North Pole, so at the very least that's a good indication he was there.

In conclusion, I don't see any great reason to doubt it.

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    Sounds good. I'll save accepting for now in case anyone can find a quote from another member of the exhibition, but if Polar Bears International recommend punching polar bears in the face (fact of the day, +1!), that makes it no longer seem implausible to me – user568458 Aug 5 '15 at 15:57
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    Well, they didn't actually recommend it themselves, they reported that Inuits recommended it to him. They didn't comment probably because they focus on firearms and bear spray (I looked it up). – PointlessSpike Aug 5 '15 at 16:01

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