I have seen some of his programmes, and do think some of the stunts he pulls off are a bit on the dodgy side, jumping off waterfalls, always going deep into caves, but realise without it, the programmes would not get the audiences they do. I think a lot is probably the producers getting him to do stuff that appeals to the target audience.
However having recently read Bear's book about how he came back from being potentially paralysed at 19 after a helicopter crash whilst in the SAS, to become (at that time) the youngest person to climb Everest at 22, and the journey, fundraising, and expedition to do that, it really changed my opinion of him, it shows a person with real drive and determination to beat the odds, and for me was quite enlightening.
Now Ray Mears is an excellent example,of a very level headed, and kowledgeable presenter, but nowhere near as dramatic.
I wonder if you were to ask a global audience which one they remember seeing on TV who would come out on top?