Treasure Island with Bear Grylls: Interview with JackCategory: Press Pack Article
Why did you want to go on Treasure Island?
I love this kind of stuff. My idea of going on a holiday would be to just go out with my friends and go in the woods, make fires and live in the wild for a while. It's something that I've always loved doing, I love all outdoor sports, I love walking around the countryside. It just feels natural to me. Everyone on the island called me Mowgli but I’d like to think I was more Tarzan! I just loved the idea of going back to basics. I’m not on social media or anything like that so I knew I wasn’t going to miss my phone but I just liked the idea of getting away from modern life and seeing if I could survive.
Why don’t you use any social media?
Everyone's sitting there on their Instagram all day, staring at their phone, spying on what other people are doing with their lives. It's just not for me, I don't really like sitting around looking at my phone, I want to live in the moment, and enjoy what is actually in front of me. That's something that's not relevant to me and something that's not going to be anything positive in my life, so I’ve just stayed away from all that.
What did you want to get out of the experience?
I just wanted to prove to myself that I could live like that, like a caveman. I just wanted to prove to myself that if something was to happen to society as we know it, I would be fine, I could carry on living. I know my strengths and I wanted to use them to bring positivity to the group and be in a position to help people less able.
Were you worried about anything?
I was nervous of being on TV, having the cameras on you all the time. Sometimes I can say silly things when I feel comfortable and my opinions are quite different so I was worried I would get myself in trouble because I know what it's like this day and age. You've got to be very careful in case someone takes offence. But other than that I was not worried about anything survival- wise, I was really excited.
What was it like meeting Bear Grylls?
It was really good because Bear's a bit of an idol of mine. I've always watched him and I wished I was there with him, doing the stuff he does, so it was nice to see him. At the end of the show he pulled me aside and he said some really nice things to me that meant the world.
What did he say?
He just said I should be very, very proud of myself. He told everyone to give me a round of applause. He said I had handled myself so well on the island and he was impressed, that made the whole trip for me. I didn't expect that at all, it's nice that he reassured me that everything I'd done was the right decision.
What did you make of the other islanders?
They were nice people. We had people less able than others and i thought that was a nice thing. I didn't want to go in there with five or ten people that were like me, in their physical abilities.
Did you bond with anybody in particular?
I got with most people really really well, but there were a few I had my ups and downs with, but Irene and Ben I was the closest with, I’ve made friends for life.
Did it get quite political?
Yeah, it did in a way. There were a few arguments. But money doesn't just bring out the worst of people, it also brings out the best of people. You know? Look at Ben, he started that experience only out for himself, determined to keep whatever he found, but by the end he was on ‘Team Share’. He built a bond with everyone and realised what an experience he'd had with everyone and how unbelievable it was that we were there. We've got no food, we've got no water. There's so much more important things than money. So it doesn't just bring the worse out, it brings the best out of people too. At the end of the day money can’t buy this experience.
Did you try and beat others at their own game?
Yeah and that was probably one of my highlights on the whole island. Ivar and Marco were had a big lump sum but when I saw another money drop,I was out at sea on a makeshift boat we had put together to fish. I saw Marco and Ivar clock the money and start to go for it and I just thought, “No way, no this time”. So it became a massive race, I was trying to get round the coast on my boat and they were trying to get over land. They looked like wild animals, they weren't going to share, so I put my heart and soul into getting there before them.
Do you think people will take sides watching you all argue over the money?
It's going to be interesting because everyone's going to have different opinions. People are going to say he's in the right, people are going to say I'm in the right. But I don't really care, I wouldn't change anything. The way I behaved is how I feel is right to live in this world, that is how I’ve been brought up.
Where do your morals come from?
My mum and dad have always brought me up to be polite, care for people, don't be selfish, help when you can, so I think it's just coming from that. I don't see why everyone's not like that. I just can't work it out. So the thing is, there was a hundred grand on that island. If we would have split it, it would have been £10,000 each, so really, you're going to cause a fuss over a few extra grand, really? It's like, just forget the money and just have a good time.
Were there any moments where you thought about quitting?
No, never. I think on previous series they have struggled for food but we didn’t have a problem this time. We always had three meals a day whether it was fish or one day I caught a stingray. So I was never starving at all. If you’re never starving then the rest of what the island has to throw at you is easy to deal with. For me the hardest part was the fact we didn’t have a proper toilet. There was one night I had a belly ache so I kept having to get up in the night and go in the sea. It was a bit uncomfortable because you're wet and you can't dry off. That was hard! The highlight for me was definitely catching the stingray and bringing it back to camp and seeing everyone happy and just putting a smile on everyone's face. That was really nice, I'll never forget that.
How much weight did you lose on the island and what was it like seeing yourself for the first time?
I'll tell you, that was so weird. When I looked in the mirror and saw myself it was nothing like i expected. I only lost a stone and a half but for me that's a lot of weight. I'm very skinny as it is. I haven't got much to lose so to lose a stone and a half is a lot of weight. I looked really skinny, all my veins were showing, my family were so shocked to see me!