'Shipwrecked really does explore the way people work out where they belong... that doesn't necessarily happen on Love Island'
After seven years, reality series Shipwrecked is back on our screens, with a host of new characters, feuds and inevitable romances in store. The show's narrator, Vick Hope, tells Miles Rowland what viewers can expect
Emerging as one of the UK's very first reality TV shows at the turn of the millennium, Shipwrecked carved a niche for itself as seriously addictive viewing, a model later replicated by Big Brother and Love Island.
What started out as more of a social experiment in the first three series, narrated by the Walking Dead's Andrew Lincoln, returned in 2006 with a competitive edge.
Renamed Shipwrecked: Battle Of The Islands, contestants were divided into two teams on separate islands, to compete for a cash prize.
And now, for the first time since 2012, it's back on E4.
We spoke to the show's new narrator, 29-year-old Vick Hope, about what makes Shipwrecked special, as well as her own nostalgia and love for the show.
SHARKS AND TIGERS ARE BACK
Fans of the show's last run will be delighted to hear that the reboot is staying true to the competitive Battle Of The Islands format.
"We have a group of young people who are stranded on two remote islands - Shark island and Tiger island," says Geordie Hope, best known for working on the Capital FM radio station, where she hosts the Capital Breakfast Show.
"The team with the most inhabitants at the end of it win £50,000 for the island."
But while the concept is relatively simple, the contestants face a rocky ride to get through to the end and take home the money.
"No one's place is ever safe on each island. There's lots of challenges, lots of twists, and, as you would expect with any group of young people in this situation, who are attractive and wearing very few clothes, there's romances."
When it comes to the type of people in the two tribes, there's everyone from models to students to recruitment managers.
Whatever their job back home, it sounds like a life-changing experience for everyone involved.
SHIPWRECKED VS LOVE ISLAND
Some people have pointed out marked similarities between Shipwrecked and its ITV2 cousin and hit show, Love Island.
But Hope - who appeared in the latest series of BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, when she was the fourth star to leave the competition - feels that there are clear differences between the two.
"Shipwrecked really explores the way that people work out where they fit in, and where they belong, which for young people is a huge preoccupation."
"That isn't something that's necessarily explored on Love Island," she adds. "There isn't really space for it because it's a love show, it's a dating show."
This, according to Hope, liberates Shipwrecked to move into new territories.
"Because they don't have to form romantic bonds to stay, more onus can be put on the way they form platonic bonds," she suggests.
"They don't have to look a certain way to be attracted to one another, because that's not the point of the show."
The presenter also feels that dividing the contestants into competing sides makes the show particularly gripping.
"I love how tribal they get, how territorial they get. Claws come out, there are some nasties in there, and that's what brings the drama."
She says there's a lot of: "'Where do they belong?' and, 'Why should you belong with us and not with them?'"
The show's diversity is something Hope is particularly proud of.
"There are people from all different walks of life, different backgrounds, different jobs, different social spheres, and I think that is going to prove very interesting," she notes.
"They're not necessarily out for fame, they all just want a really nice holiday. They would probably do it even if there weren't cameras rolling; it's just a great jaunt."
Whatever their motives, she predicts the islanders are going to be a massive hit with viewers, and quips we could have the next Jeff Brazier - who starred in the third series of Shipwrecked - on our hands.
"They're brilliant characters, some of them are particularly feisty and fiery and brilliant on screen."
Writing the voiceover for the show has made Hope nostalgic for when she used to watch the series as a teenager, calling it perfect "hangover TV".
"I'm remembering all the other things that went with that time of my life and it's a really nice nostalgic feeling to have.
"It's really crazy to be a part of something you used to love."
THE CALL OF THE WILD
Hope can understand the appeal of Shipwrecked for its contestants too.
"I just recently went to Malaysia, on a retreat in the middle of nowhere on a little island, and it felt so good to just clear your mind of everything and not have distractions."
She adds that being isolated could do the contestants some good.
"They're focusing on human bonds, in the purest sense. They've got no social media to influence the way they feel about themselves, about other people, and that makes a huge different to the way they get on; the fact there's no outside influence at all."
That said, she wouldn't rate her own prospects on Shark or Tiger island...
"I would try my best to be guarded for a week or two, but then I would just forget, and I would wear my heart on my sleeve because I tend to, and it would all go to pot.
"I'm a very emotional person, and I'm always running my mouth by accident, so I'd probably be a disaster if I'm honest!"
Shipwrecked starts on E4 on Monday, January 28, 9pm