Belfast Telegraph

Gryll and bear it, celebs ready to do battle with nature

The adventurer's new reality show makes you squirm with embarrassment... but it's must-see television, writes Susan Griffin

If you're missing the voyeurism provided by Love Island and impatient for I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! to return, Celebrity Island With Bear Grylls could just be the programme to plug the televisual hole in your life.

Once again, 10 intrepid familiar - and some not-so-familiar - faces will be stranded on a tropical desert island to tackle four weeks of Mother Nature at her worst.

Stripped of mod-cons, luxury items and even the most basic of necessities, the celebrities will be left with nothing more than the clothes on the back, basic tools, medical supplies and enough water to last them 24 hours.

As it says in the promo blurb, "the aim of this game is simply to survive".

And it really is tough going.

In the past, participants have faced dehydration, starvation, sickness, excruciating insect bites, torrential downpours and stifling heat, so it's little wonder it never takes too long for arguments to break out.

As always, a camera crew will embed themselves within the group and document the highs and lows for our viewing pleasure.

Ahead of the action playing out on screen, here's a look at who's taking part and their chances of making it through the traumatic month.

Mark Watson (37)

Occupation: Comedian.

Chances of survival: Considering he's carved a career in stand-up, Watson's no stranger to tough gigs. He's also known for pushing himself to the extreme. Could be one to watch.

Did you know: Watson attended Cambridge University where he studied English and graduated with First Class honours.

Sara Kayat (age unknown)

Occupation: TV doctor.

Chances of survival: You'd presume that given her day-to-day work, Kayat will be able to keep a cool head even in the most trying of circumstances. Although definitely one to rally the troops, who's going to be looking out for her?

Did you know: She endured a rather embarrassing appearance on This Morning when a stool she was perched on got the better of her and she managed to slip off it.

Jordan Stephens (25)

Occupation: Rizzle Kicks singer.

Chances of survival: He's known to be a bit of a cheeky chappie, but we'll have to wait and see whether it's all bravado.

Did you know: Stephens is also a burgeoning actor and popped up in last year's sci-fi epic Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Iwan Thomas (43)

Occupation: Olympic athlete and broadcaster.

Chances of survival: Although Thomas is physically tough, it would be wrong to assume that's enough to get you through.

Did you know: The 400-metre athlete donned spandex to take part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2015. Partnered with Ola Jordan, he was the first to be booted off.

Sharron Davies (54)

Occupation: Olympic swimmer and broadcaster.

Chances of survival: Davies is known for her no-nonsense approach, so you'd expect her to simply do what needs to be done.

Did you know: After retiring from competitive swimming, Davies joined the 1990s TV show Gladiators, where she went by the name of Amazon.

RJ Mitte (24)

Occupation: Actor.

Chances of survival: Diagnosed with cerebral palsy at three, the Breaking Bad actor has overcome a lot of adversity in his life.

Did you know: Keen to remove the stigma surrounding disability, Mitte's been involved with numerous charity campaigns, walked in a Vivienne Westwood show and is keen to forge a career behind the camera.

Lucy Mecklenburgh (25)

Occupation: Reality star.

Chances of survival: She spent her time on The Only Way Is Essex embracing all things bling, but as they say, don't judge a book by its cover. Fellow Towie star Lydia Bright proved her mettle when she took part in the endurance show in 2016.

Did you know: She was engaged to her Towie co-star Mario Falcone, dated Louis Smith, who was the judge on Tumble, a gymnastics-based reality show she took part in, and is now in a relationship with fellow Celebrity Island contestant Ryan Thomas.

Shazia Mirza (40)

Occupation: Comedian and writer.

Chances of survival: Hailed for her straight-shooting delivery on stage, Mirza could cause conflict if people take offence to her no-holds barred approach.

Did you know: Before her creative career took off, Mirza was a science teacher and one of her former pupils was reportedly rapper Dizzee Rascal.

Melody Thornton (32)

Occupation: Dancer and singer.

Chances of survival: Dancers endure a lot of pain and discomfort, but are often told to simply grin and bear it. For that reason Thornton's likely to be tough and disciplined.

Did you know: Thornton joined the Pussycat Dolls after hearing they were auditioning for a new member and went on to become the most prominent vocal talent behind Nicole Scherzinger.

Ryan Thomas (33)

Occupation: Actor.

Chances of survival: During his lucrative time on Coronation Street, Thomas would've got used to the finer things in life, but seeing he decided to walk away from the cobbles maybe he's keen to show a new side to his party boy persona.

Did you know: His twin brother Adam took part in the last series of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! and finished third - the same position as younger brother Scott when he appeared in last year's Love Island.

  • The Celebrity Island With Bear Grylls, Channel 4, Tuesday, 9.15pm

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