Marooned for TV

TWO Hackney residents will spend the next 12 weeks living in flimsy wooden huts marooned on a desert island for the TV reality show, Castaway, which began a new series on BBC last Friday...

TWO Hackney residents will spend the next 12 weeks living in flimsy wooden huts marooned on a desert island for the TV reality show, Castaway, which began a new series on BBC last Friday.

Wendie Mitchell, 42, a mum-of-four, and Joe Chicken, 33, an occupational therapist, both of whom live in Stoke Newington, are among the 20 contestants who will have to rough it in harsh conditions on Great Barrier Island, off New Zealand.

Although the remote island looks picturesque, food, water and shelter are limited and the huts, which they will have to build themselves, have no electricity, plumbing or running water.

It is seven years since the original Castaway, which was set on the Scottish island of Taransay, delighted and shocked viewers with its arguments and love tangles.


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Wendie, who gave up her 20-year advertising career last summer, was desperate for a change of scenery, having spent the last year taking care of her fragile mother.

The former skinhead, who was brought up in Dalston, loves to go out raving.

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One of her biggest passions is ska music, for which she runs her own website, and she regularly gets dressed up in ska-style clothes and goes partying with her partner of two years.

She is looking forward to the Castaway challenge, even though she admits to being scared of the dark.

"It's nice to have 'me' time," she says. "I never have time. Ever."

Fellow contestant is a former pub manager and reckons it will be a chance to test himself.

He is a vegetarian, loves animals and will be devastated if they have to slaughter a pig.

"I don't intend to take island life too seriously," he says. "I will occupy myself by playing hide and seek, telling jokes, doing treasure hunts and dancing like a doughnut."

Castaway is screened at 9pm.

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