So here we are, episode 2 of Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls and after last week’s masterclass in how not to survive on a desert island, this week our modern-day Robinson Crusoes up the ante further still, exceeding even the abject incompetence of their previous failures.
This week’s highlights included:
- How not to catch a turkey.
- How not to build shelter.
- How to catch yourself instead of a fish.
- How not to prioritise your own survival.
The result was sixty minutes of anti-survival gold dust.
The idea of the show, which supports the Stand Up to Cancer awareness campaign, is to encapsulate that in hardship; even in the darkest hours, that anything is possible – that there is always hope! These guys may have surrendered their liberty for a month (and their fees, which have been donated to the campaign), but they don’t seem to have bought into the idea of what this is all about.
The castaways have been on the island for four days now, and they have not yet built any kind of shelter, their sole form of sustenance other than what they arrived with and water, has been limpets – with a calorific value of zero. It is a pitiful sight made sadder still by the knowledge that these people’s celebrity status puts them in the position of role models to many.
It came as no surprise that poor little Aston decided that he would be more use ‘keeping it real’ back in the UK than on the island. “I’m just not being 100 percent myself in here,” he reveals to the group. “… I’m just going to go home.”
Having soldiered through four whole days of the four weeks he signed up for, the little cherub harped: “I’m better off sitting in a studio writing songs and choreographing dance routines – it’s a different type of endurance.” Hmmm, just remind me how some of those JLS tracks went. Nope, I’m pretty sure you’re better suited to the island, Aston.
One down, nine to go. The remaining survivalists up-sticks and head off in search of a more amenable living space – I.E. a beach. Carrying with them the camp fire, precariously embered in two fragments of a termite nest. It goes without saying that one of the embers must die en route, and so it comes to pass – due in some part to the frailty of former BBC children’s TV presenter Zoe Salmon, who must surely now have her Blue Peter badge rescinded.
Thankfully, after a two-hour slog through the jungle, they reach sanctuary, and while Mark Jenkins starts to look forward to setting up a hunting party and getting much-needed sustenance inside them, the others decide to head off for a swim.
That’s right, they haven’t eaten for four days. Their only drink has been brackish water and they have no beds or shelter – but show these minor celebs a sandy beach and a blue sea and watch their troubles evaporate. Herein lies the critical errors made by the show’s producers – each of the participants has a GPS tracker and emergency cell phone, which they have used with the frequency of someone calling room service. They all know they have the comfort blanket of Bear’s ‘safety team’ within 10 minutes and so they wander round as oblivious as turkeys on a farm in the week before Christmas.
It is only the next morning when the exertions of the previous day really start to hit home, that they rouse themselves to action. Off in search of carbohydrate-rich yucca go Karen Danczuk and Zoe and off to the rocks to fish goes the posse of Thom Evans, Ollie Locke and Mark.
As with all their previous endeavours, the hunt amounts to nought; Zoe having had a turkey in her grasp lets it slip away, and Ollie keen to disprove the scurrilous claim that “he’s not just some stupid pink wearing guy that people think I am,” allows the only fish hooked to escape – and, yes, he did it while wearing pink! Good eatin’, though, is tantalisingly close and another hunting party is arranged.
Dr Dawn sets off with Zoe in search of wild turkey and yucca, while Josie Long and Lydia Bright try their hand at fishing. What could possibly go wrong?
As it turns out, quite a lot. The turkeys disappear and rather than hooking a fish, Lydia decides it would be much more entertaining for the viewers if she hooked herself. Whoopsy!
The panic button is duly pressed in camp and off in search of the good doctor goes one of the chaps. Ambling through the jungle with camera in hand calling out for Dr Dawn, our hapless searcher pans left and spies a turkey – conveniently perched not 10 feet away. So, here’s the dilemma: Do you stretch the turkey’s neck while the opportunity presents itself (no pun intended) or do you continue on your quest so that your camp mate can have a fish hook removed from her finger.
Proving that chivalry is not dead but common sense most certainly is, he opts to carry on with the search. And after finding Dr Dawn the turkey wisely exits stage left and lives to witness at least one more sunrise.
However, a new day brings new hope and a leadership challenge from Mark Jenkins who has had enough of Dom Joly’s profound laziness and lack of any plan. The trouble is, although Mark is organised, nobody wants to follow him and after a brief honeymoon period, strife is sure to follow. He does though send out a foraging party to dig for yukka and, after a couple of hours graft, they return in triumph with a supply of the carb-rich root vegetable and stick it straight in the pot with a gaggle of starving diners watching on.
Dom Joly is given the honour of taking the first bite and to the horror of all present reveals that it isn’t yucca- they’ve spent the past hour boiling inedible twigs.
It is all too much for Thom Evans, the island’s male eye candy, who has shed 2 stones in a week and is so weak he can barely bring himself to stand manages to raise his tired hands and makes the call to remove him from the island. “Curses” wail the C4 execs as an army of female fans desert the show for the comforting embrace Aidan Turner in Poldark over on BBC1. And then there were eight!