Hunted champion and Hackney boy Ayo Adesina reveals what producers left out of the show
- Credit: Archant
He may have evaded a crack team of “hunters” for 28 days, but TV star Ayo Adesina couldn’t do it without popping in to see his family in Dalston.
Last week the computer programmer was crowned champion of Channel 4 show Hunted, in which 10 “fugitives” try and outwit a team of ex-cops and government officials using CCTV and other state powers to track them.
Ayo quickly became a fans’ favourite for his taunting of the hunters on social media and ended up splitting the £100,000 prize money with househusband Nick Cummings.
But he says producers didn’t show half of what he was up to, and revealed he would boast to them every few days about their inability to catch him.
Speaking to the Gazette, he explained: “There was so much stuff they left out, they only showed about 20 per cent of it. One time I gave my SIM card to a stranger and got them to ring my girlfriend on my daughter’s birthday. The hunters ran to Cornwall trying to find me. But they weren’t showing my genius!”
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In one scene that did make the cut, Ayo visits his mum’s restaurant Aso Rock in Bradbury Street, unaware the hunters are hot on his trail. A chase through Gillett Square ensues before he bumps into an old friend and takes cover in his flat.
“That day me and my brother took a picture with a newspaper and sent it to them, but they didn’t show it. A week later they published the photo in the same newspaper to try and find me!”
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It wasn’t the only time he relied on his network of friends in Hackney over the 28 days: he spoke to his brother regularly and even collected £1,000 from him early on. The hunters had no idea.
“I was ringing a restaurant near to my mum’s and getting them to go and get my brother,” said Ayo, who believes being brought up in the borough helped him win.
“Hackney is just one of those places,” he continued. “It made me. I think I’ve achieved quite a lot and I put that down to my environment and my friends.”
He initially went on the run with Madu Alikor, who he met in Clapton Library aged 11. But after they fell out and went their separate ways Madu was caught. The pair have since made up and Ayo will even give him some of the £50,000 prize. The rest will help pay his mortgage.
With “no gameplan”, Ayo relied on his charm to get him through, and it worked too. He was taken in by Subway staff and also spent a night in a £3million house in the Midlands. But it wasn’t all so luxurious.
“You get very paranoid,” he said. “The last day was mentally and physically draining. I was checking Twitter and they were half an hour behind me all day.
“But it was one of the best things I’ve ever done.”