Bear Grylls returned this week to revitalise our Sunday night with a cast of the usual Z-list celebrities fighting for survival on an uninhabited island in Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls.
After three series of The Island with normal folk, Bear has given the show a revamp with 10 celebrities taking on the wilderness including Made in Chelsea’s Ollie Locke, Lydia Bright from TOWIE, Aston Merrygold from boy band JLS, and rugby player Thom Evans. With just a few basic tools, some water, and only the clothes on their backs the celebs are left to fend for themselves.
I confess to being a newbie to The Island, but as an enthusiast of reality TV and also Bear Grylls I was intrigued. The programme contains a good blend of humour and drama – as any reality TV show should. However, with the threat of danger and possible death at every corner, the show has a captivating edge. Bear drops the celebs on the island with the handy advice to “embrace the hardships every day. Positivity, positivity, positivity”. This seems contrary to his appearances throughout the episode describing the dangers of the jungle, stating that without ingenuity “eventually they’re gonna starve”. Very positive Bear.
Part of the appeal of such a programme is our interest in seeing celebrities out of their comfort zone. As viewers we take pleasure in seeing them fulfil our previous perceptions of them, or, conversely, revealing a new side to themselves. This gives us an insight into the celebrities as real people, and, as Ollie Locke states in the first episode, it forces them to “show… rawness”. Locke and Lydia Bright are especially great to watch. When sleeping on the beach, Locke exclaims “it’s like staying in a fucking Travelodge”. Aside from being very amusing, Locke and Bright are surprisingly resilient and determined. My money is on them surviving.
With the promise of yet more drama and terrifying wildlife to come, I can say that Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls is definitely worth a watch. I look forward to following the escapades of the celebraties, watching more of their entertaining highs and lows, and possibly their descent into a Lord of the Flies style anarchy, from the comfort, warmth, and safety of my own flat.
Image: Lwp Kommunikáció @ Flickr