Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls – episode 3

Mark Jenkins the outsider

We’re smugly self-satisfied this week, resting back in a post episode three glow. After enduring the flailings of the various M to Z list celebrities who have been marooned courtesy of Bear Grylls on a south Pacific island, we can scoff indignantly that their lack of action has finally brought its comeuppance.

The catalyst for the humongous mentality shift is a session with Dr Dawn on the weighing scales, which reveals the group has lost more than 20 stones between them, and a night at the mercy of the mighty sandfly – a tiny beach dwelling parasite that enjoys a nocturnal feast courtesy of the celebs continued insistence of sleeping on the ground.

Bug-bitten and visibly diminished, the penny, at last, has dropped with the camp inhabitants and the serious business of trying to construct basic shelter and feed themselves is embraced with something that could easily be mistaken for real effort.

Dom Joly, Ollie Lock and a Pufferfish

Unfortunately, real effort is no substitute for lady luck or common sense, and so in spite of their best efforts the group return to camp sans dinde. To compound the cloud of doom hovering over the camp, the fishing party also returns without bounty. When fortune isn’t smiling on you, you are offered hope – in the form of a fish – before being dashed when you realise it is a pufferfish; a creature that protects itself by producing the lethal toxin tetrodotoxin, which is up to 1,200 times more poisonous than cyanide.

A sanguine Ollie Locke muses “The only fish we’ve caught, the only potential food we have – is one of the most poisonous fish in the sea. This island really does have the most extraordinary way of sh***ing on you!”

Exhausted and dispirited Mark ‘The Hotel’ Jenkins heads back to camp to see how the other islanders have fared in his absence. With no firewood visible, he falls into full micro-manager mode and critiques the efforts/work output of the rest of the group – particularly Karen Danczuk.

Having instigated last week’s coup and taken over as leader Mark’s casual sexism and belief that:

  1. He is the only person putting in the correct effort
  2. He is always right – and speedily succeeds in isolating him from the rest of the camp.

There is no carrot with Mark, it is 100% stick.

“He’s got a real problem with me that man, states selfie queen, Danczuk. “You know what it is? It’s woman in power.”

“He’s so sexist … he comes in here like a chihuahua, just attacking,” she bleats to the rest of the group. “That, for me, has all the ingredients for a very insecure man.”

Mark Jenkins Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls

To disprove his insecurity and reassert his masculinity, Mark opts to showcase his leadership qualities by hacking at logs with his machete before inventing an utterly useless turkey catching contraption.

Dom Joly with impeccable comic delivery queries whether it is the most efficient method for catching turkeys: “It’s not a well-known hunting method,” he says with tongue in cheek. “In fact, I think, I saw it on a cartoon once.”

Unperturbed, Mark sets off in his pith helmet into the jungle in search of his prey, only to return crest-fallen and outwitted by the birds. His failure signals the end of his time as camp leader and a populist revolt installs Karen Danczuk as the new decision maker supreme.

“When I set my mind to something I usually succeed,” she states. Thankfully her confidence is well-founded because the very next day two hapless turkeys stroll a little too close to camp and are promptly pushed to the head of the menu. Happy days all round and a huge morale boost for camp.

It’s rather strange that The Sun reported viewers were unimpressed that the starving celebs had caught, killed and eaten the two turkeys. If I been on an island with no food for 10 days, I wouldn’t give a second thought to wringing the necks of whatever edible unfortunate crossed my path. I don’t remember the synopsis of the show or the titles saying this was Celebrity Vegan Island with Bear Grylls. If you get squeamish at the site of poultry being killed next week, probably isn’t for you, but with Ollie Locke getting his shot at leadership it should have its lighter moments.

If you take one positive thing from this experience let it be your support of the Stand Up to Cancer campaign, you can learn more about what the charity does and how you can help at Channel4/su2c.