Mankind has come a long way since the days of hunters and gatherers - but the modern British man's survival gene could be in danger of becoming extinct, a survey shows.

Ready meals and toiletries are the luxuries more than a quarter of men could not live without, with 29% of men choosing ready meals as their must-have item on a remote island, above taking a hunting knife or fishing line.

Some 26% said they could not live without their toiletries, according to the Channel 4 survey of 2000 British men.

Loading article content

And 62% of men said that they would not be able to start a fire without the aid of a lighter - so they may have trouble heating up their ready meal.

When asked to rate their practical DIY skills, Welsh men were the least-educated in the UK, with 83% claiming they were never taught the skills.

The survey found just 10% of men spend their spare time playing sport, 9% pursuing outdoor activities and 15% tending to their house or car.

The top recreation was lazing around and watching TV, with 36% admitting to spending their free time in this way.

The survey findings come as Channel 4 launches the five-part series, The Island with Bear Grylls, featuring the real-life experiences of a group of men struggling to survive on a remote island.

Bear Grylls said: "What happens when you strip man of all the luxury and conveniences of modern living and then force them to fight for their very existence?

"When pushed to the extreme do they still have what it takes to survive? I believe the spirit is still there and in us all.

"It's not until it's squeezed and put under pressure that we find that spirit of resourcefulness and courage again."