You know you’re in for a rough ride when a show begins with a liberal dollop of emotional blackmail to keep you engaged. ‘They’re raising money for cancer research’ – the message is up front and in your face – so maybe these celebs have something to contribute to the world other than massaging their own considerable egos on a sun-kissed beach for a fortnight? That, at least, was the theory, and it proved to be wrong. For here, we have 10 celebs who have rowed themselves to the upper reaches of shit creek, before tossing out the paddles and sinking their boat.
“Worthwhile things in life don’t come easy,” Grylls warns our island chums on arrival. “Embrace our hardships every day. Positivity, positivity, positivity.” It’s sound advice and the celebs take on board the latter as they enjoy a jolly old time bedding down in their new surroundings – brainlessly glugging down their few day’s supply of water – at the height of a dry season in which temperatures peak in the high 30s.
If you can forego the expectation that these adults should have some common sense, judgement and basic life skills, then there is some fun to be had with this four-parter.
Channel 4 have brought together a group of low-level celebrities including Made in Chelsea’s Ollie Locke, comedian and writer Dom Joly, rugby player and model Thom Evans and Dr Dawn Harper. They are complemented in their hopelessness by self-obsessed, low-level celebrity aspirants, Aston Merrygold of the boyband JLS, Mark Jenkins from C4’s The Hotel, former Labour Councillor and ‘selfie queen’ Karen Danczuk, comedian Josie Long, TOWIE star Lydia Bright and former Blue Peter presenter Zoe Salmon.
Ollie Locke is quick off the mark in trying to win the sympathy vote – with emotions to the fore after twice failing miserably to find a fresh water source and requiring emergency rescue by the support team, he blurted that: “I’m not a complete idiot and I’m actually quite good at stuff and not this stupid kind of pink-wearing guy that I think a lot of people think I am”. So what’s that you’re wearing then, Ollie?
Having been marooned on a jungle-tangled chunk of rock in the Pacific, the luvvies are now without water, without food and, for some, without hope. Poor old Aston fearing for his life and his vocal chords is ready to chuck in the towel – and we’ve just about reached sundown on day four.
Use the next seven days to steel your resolve and help the camp’s only diva to stick it out. Aston revealed his survival credentials thus: “I didn’t expect it to be this hard. I didn’t come into this thinking it was going to be a walk in the park – but it’s TV. So yeah, I did think it was going to be a walk in the park because its TV.” That’s right Aston, fully hardcore, and you’ve got plenty of time to enjoy it!
Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls, episode 2 is broadcast Sunday 25 September at 9pm
Episode one is available on catchup until Monday 7 November 2016.