The wait is finally over, and Freeze The Fear with Wim Hof is finally hitting our screens tonight on BBC One.

Viewers have been eagerly waiting for the premiere of the new BBC show. Freeze The Fear with Wim Hof will follow eight celebrities as they give up their lifestyles to live in the Italian mountains in freezing conditions.

The show is hosted by Holly Willoughby and Lee Mack as celebrities are pushed to their limit through a series of piercingly cold challenges. Wim Hof is also on the show as he trains the celebrities for the conditions with his King of the cold skills. Reality Titbit have all the information you need on Wim Hof, including the tragic story behind his methods and a look at his relationship with his first wife.

  • BBC: Who has the comfiest chair on Dragons Den?

Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof | Trailer | BBC

Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof | Trailer | BBC

Who is Wim Hof?

Wim Hof is an extreme athlete who is best known for his incredible ability to fight freezing cold conditions. The 62-year-old is extremely passionate about his Wim Hof Method, which he claims reduces stress, anxiety and depression whilst improving creativity, exercise performance, sleep and mental clarity.

The Wim Hof Method combines breathing techniques, cold therapy and meditation to help people take control of their mind and connect with their bodies. Wim Hof’s breathing techniques act as a controlled hyperventilation, and has been proven to work.

On the upcoming show the celebrities will try out his techniques for themselves, so viewers will get to see them with their own eyes.

Wim Hof’s wife is what inspired his method

If this is the first time you’re hearing about Wim Hof’s ways, you may be thinking he’s crazy. However, a lot of his work is backed by science, and it worked for himself after he lost his first wife to suicide in 1995.

Although he has been swimming in cold conditions since the age of 17, it wasn’t until his wife’s death that he realised it is a form of therapy. He explained this on his website, along with the fact that this was a great way of grieving for him.

Wim also explained:

‘My heart was broken. It is a physical thing as much as a mental thing. The only thing that gave me peace was the cold. Cold, hard nature is the cure, I am convinced of it. It allows us to live, and to handle our grief.’

‘I didn’t know all this then, so I couldn’t save her, but I could have. I could have made an intervention. Now, I do work with people who have mental illness. I have helped people who are having suicidal thoughts. My wife’s death inspired this, and it is her legacy.’

  • ITV: Saturday Night Takeaway ‘Chase The Rainbow’ explained

Wim Hof and Olaya’s relationship explored

Wim’s wife was called Olaya, who he has described as the love of his life. Throughout their relationship, she was diagnosed with both depression and schizophrenia.

They first met in 1982 in Amsterdam, and it was nothing short of love at first sight for Wim. After this, Olaya went away travelling, however fell pregnant with Wim’s first child, Enahm.

Over the next few years, they got married and had three more children, Isa, Laura and Michael. As her mental health worsened, she decided to live with her parents in Spain over fears she was a danger to her children.

It has been 27 years since Olaya took her own life, and Wim explains that everything he does is for her, as she is his guardian angel watching over his family.



Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know
Brooke Harrison
Brooke Harrison

Brooke is a PR and Brand Communication student at Leeds Beckett University. She loves all things social media, writing, and anything which allows her to be creative.

More in BBC