Ashley Hames experiences some of the world's toughest and most dangerous jobs in a bid to transform himself from pampered layabout to a real man. He is pushed to the extreme limits of mental, physical and emotional endurance, whether soaked at sea on an Alaskan crab fishing boat or on the intimidating streets of Bogot with the Colombian Anti Narcotics Police Force. Does he have the guts and drive to carry out a REAL man's work?
S01:E01 - Crab Fisherman
King Crab fishing is one of the most sought after jobs in fishing, with the possibility of earning more than $100,000 for a week's work the stakes are high. The risk is high too when out on the Bering seas, one of the most inhospitable environments on Earth, with fishermen facing mountainous seas, long hours and ghastly conditions. Ashley starts off the week by falling and injuring himself, and it only gets worse from then on, needing to overcome extreme seasickness to carry on the work that his colleagues are dependant on him doing. Despite constantly trying to battle through his darkest moments, Ashley is still called in for a crisis meeting with the ship's captain, who feels he is not putting in enough effort. It's the longest week in Ashley's life with little more than fish to keep him company.
S01:E02 - Heli-Logger
Ashley joins the Hayes team of Heli-loggers, living on a floating barge near the scenic islands of Toba Inlet in British Columbia and is put to the test by his butch mentor, Greg. Being flown to work in a helicopter must be most boys' dream job, even if it is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world with the highest injury and death rates in Canada and the US. Ashley's initiation to the job on his first day involves him competing against his new colleagues in a log burling competition and ends up with him falling into the freezing cold glacial waters. Before Ashley's final tree-felling test he must learn to hook tenders, drive sidewinders, chaise chokers and stamp logs. Ashley's week is filled with the fear that he could easily fall 500 feet or be crushed like a twig by a falling tree. By the end, though, Ashley not only learns the art of axe throwing but he personally fells a 200 foot tall cedar tree that is over 6 foot wide.
S01:E03 - Anti-Narcotics Police Force
With so much action packed into one week it is a surprise that Ashley wants to leave Colombia. After meeting his mentor, Major Fernando Buuitrago, at Pihaos Jungle training school, Ashley goes on an all guns blazing series of intensive training, involving assault rifle and machine gun shooting. Before heading onto the notorious streets of Bogota, Ashley's nerve is tested as he has to abseil and jump into a lake from a helicopter instead of showering in the morning. The action hero type training sets Ashley up for an interesting week, during which he patrols the streets, is called to blowup a suspect package, and even arrest a cocaine dealer.
S01:E04 - Rural Fire-fighter
There are few forces on Earth that can compare with the destructive nature of an uncontrolled wild fire. Driven by superheated winds through tinder dry brush and trees, Australia's bush fire season can be like hell on earth, with thousands of acres of land at risk every year. Ashley meets the everyday heroes who make up New South Wales' Rural Fire Service, which at 70,000 members is the World's largest volunteer firefighting force. After completing a compulsory fitness test at Sydney's Olympic Stadium, he is handed over to Damien Eggleston, one of the forces top training officers and a firefighter of over 15 years to be hammered into shape. After completing his basic training, Ash joins up with the Salt Ash Fire Brigade, where he learns pretty quickly that heroes aren't born, they're made. A rag tag bunch of characters, the team quickly take Ashley under their collective wings as he carries out the back breaking work creating firebreaks and setting up controlled burns before the whole crew pulls together to t
S01:E05 - Crime Scene Cleaner
Crime Scene Cleaners, a San Francisco based company run by the love him or loathe him character of Neil Smithers, have turned horror into a 24 hour mass money making business. They serve the nation - law enforcement agencies, businesses and private individuals as they act as the grim reaper's housekeepers. If we told you that Ashley's mentor Neil's motto is pray for death', you'll have some idea of what to expect from this emotionally charged show as our man is pushed to the edge by some of the worst situations he's ever likely to encounter. On arrival he's instantly taken aback by Neil's take on death - and as the show continues, Ashley tries to get to the heart of a man who it seems has none. With a final gruesome and affecting clean up on his hands, this really is one job that takes it toll.
S01:E06 - Opal Miner
Lightning Ridge, deep in the depths of Central Australia, is a place where you go to disappear. Hundreds of miles from anywhere, this is a town of drunks, drifters and fighters, where money comes second to the elusive and dangerous mistress that is the opal. With his charming hillbilly mentor Kim Botfield at his side, Ashley has set his sights on becoming rich the old fashioned way work, work, blow something up, have a beer, followed by more work. With temperatures reaching 50C on an almost daily basis, Ashley is pushed to his limits as he controls huge drilling rigs, works a massive jackhammer, and learns that out here, all the explosives experts smoke - apparently it aids concentration. Greg Dunn, the local bad boy lends a hand, however his seventeen year old girl friend Lana (New South Wales' top female boxer) constantly questions Ashley's right to call himself a man - an argument that unsurprisingly ends in a hastily arranged outback ring. With cinema not an option out here, Ash heads out with one of Kim'
S01:E07 - JDF Coast Guard
Ashley is tested on leadership skills as well as his mental and physical strength when he joins the Jamaican Coast Guard as an Officer Cadet. After coming close to breaking point during the beating Ashley takes from his training officers at Camp Newcastle, he is then given the role of commanding his men aboard the state of the art battle ship HMJS Cornwall. At sea Ashley performs his duties whilst attempting to gain trust from and authority over his crew. His first mission takes him into the notorious drug triangle where his crew patrols to intercept high speed motorboats laden with drugs coming from Colombia. During Ashley's time they search for suspicious vessels and board a fishing boat looking for drugs. Ashley has his leadership skills pushed the limit when he is confronted by an unruly yet experienced crew.
S01:E08 - Fire Fighter
After doing some of the most strenuous and hottest training in his life Ashley is allowed to join Platoon 1 of the Edmonton Fire Service. Along an emotional journey where Ashley and his mentor Todd become life-long friends Ashley learns to abseil upside down and tackles blazing fires in burning houses at one of the best Fire Schools in the world. After a training that was so physically grueling it nearly broke him, Ashley joins the Platoon and is promptly turned into the butt of many practical jokes as he goes through Rookie Hell. By the end of the week Ashley has found out how tough these guys really are and what horrific encounters they have been through, which makes them all heroes in his eyes.
S01:E09 - Football Manager
Football management is one of the most stressful jobs in the world. There have been high-profile cases of managers requiring heart surgery and even dying pitch-side because of the pressure of the job. We throw Ashley straight in at the deep-end as he takes charge of Slough Town F.C. There is a lot riding on the game: win the game and get three points in the bag and Slough are safe for another season - lose and they face a battle at the wrong end of the table. First up is a reserve team match against Harrow Borough. Ashley's hopes of introducing total football' to Berkshire have disastrous effects and they loose two-nil. With stress levels going through the roof, Ashley's managerial career rests on the final game, with just 90 minutes between glorious success and abject failure. Can he and the team make the grade?
S01:E10 - Stunt Man
With Peter Hassall, one of New Zealand's most experienced stuntmen in charge, and a bunch of hard Maori brawlers at his side, Ashley is put through one of the toughest and most nerve wracking weeks of his life. A staged bar brawl with his three Maori mentors on day one almost ends in disaster as Ashley makes a trip to hospital with suspected broken ribs, but he's back in action the next day as he puts his trust in Peter for a fiery leap into the sea. For his final death defying stunt, Ashley travels to New Zealand's biggest Stock Car event, where 15,000 fans make up the biggest and toughest audience he's ever likely to face. Before he can worry about smashing through the walls of fire he's got bigger fish to fry, namely learning to drive that's right he doesn't even have a licence. Two terrified instructors, and a night of flaming bar stunts later he's finally given the all clear by Peter to take on the big one - he's never been more nervous, but can he hold it together on the day?
S01:E11 - Gaucho Cowboy
The gaucho cowboys are renowned for being tough and great in the saddle. Ashley isn't. He hasn't taken up the reins for over twenty-four years, but that doesn't deter him in his quest to become as tough as his mentor Juliano, who has been breaking wild horses since he was eleven. As Ashley's confidence improves, he is allowed to do more around the ranch, including lassoing a calf, driving cattle and performing internal examinations of pregnant cows. But will he ever manage to pass the true test of gaucho manhood by riding a wild horse?
S01:E12 - Aussie Rules Football Player
Aussie Rules is arguably one of the toughest sports in the world. Forget Rugby - this is the ultimate hard mans game, where no protection is worn and where injuries are commonplace. This week, Ashley joins Australia's champion Aussie Rules team, the Sydney Swans where he is helped by his mentor and boys own hero, Nick Davis. Once fully kitted up, his fitness and skills are assessed much to the amusement of the first team squad. Even though he might look the part, coach Paul Roos, is far from impressed. Consequently, Ashley is sent off to train with people more suited to his level: the Stingrays, the area's top female team worryingly things don't go well and after being taught an embarrassing lesson by the girls, Nick takes drastic measures and sets up a competitive match up at a local school - it really is a case of men against boys, but unfortunately the outcome is far from successful for our man. With a final match with the Bulldogs SFL team looming, Nick hands over his protg to two guys he thinks can h
S01:E13 - Mountain Patrol Search and Rescue
Ashley joins the Rescue and Avalanche Mitigation team in America's largest patrolled ski resort and climbing area - Moonlight Basin, Montana, where graft, toughness and nerves of steel are pretty much a pre-requisite if you want to succeed. Montana is one of nature's most inhospitable regions, where avalanches are an everyday occurrence and where a momentary loss of concentration means almost certain death. In temperatures dropping below -20C, Ashley meets up with one of the toughest men he's ever likely to meet - Chris Shelly, the director of Moonlight Basin's Ski Patrol and a man who has seen and done it all. Starting with a basic assessment of Ashley's suitability for the job, Chris spends the week pushing his new charge to his limits, including burying him for 30 minutes under two feet of snow before he is tracked down by avalanche dogs, firing explosives at sheer mountain walls and making a death defying trek up the mountain in some of the worst conditions Ashley has ever faced. After being introduced t
S01:E14 - Best of Man's Work Pt. 1
This is the first of the compilation shows taking Man's Work into overtime. It combines some of the best bits of the series with a few gems we simply couldn't fit in as well as some behind the scenes moments you won't want to miss. It's the show where Ashley gets to play God setting off avalanches with a mortar gun. He cleans the blood (and guts) off the streets of San Francisco, literally. He finally gets himself a manly haircut before taking on the fans of Slough town FC at their own game and he gets to mess around in the ultimate boys' toy, a snow mobile. Plus we get to meet the overworked camera crew
S01:E15 - Best of Man's Work Pt. 2
This is the show where Ashley gets to fire off automatic weapons in the Caribbean sunshine, goes hog-hunting in the Australian outback with a bloke worryingly called Smut and gets a proper telling off from the Captain of a king crab fishing trawler in the middle of the Bering Sea. We also witness his spectacular fall from grace thanks to his penchant for booze and his tear-jerking retribution as he rides a small cow for less than three seconds in slow motion.
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