SOMEONE has a sense of humour at the BBC.
A “lucky” 13 castaways are now making their home on an island off New Zealand for the return of what is billed as “the original TV reality show”.
Castaway is back on BBC1 at 9pm this Friday, seven years after the first series based on the Scottish island of Taransay.
The 13 chosen ones include just married Manchester model and lapdancer Erica Hurst, from Bolton, who you can read about in today’s MEN story here.
She’ll be hoping to avoid the fate of Salford builder Ray Bowyer, who was ordered off Taransay in 2000 after rows with the rest of the community.
Many journalists still have fond memories of the farcical tabloid chase which followed his departure from the island.
The new series has a different format to the original. For a start, it will last three months compared to a year, with weekly shows on BBC1 and added coverage on BBC3.
But it still has the same aim of taking a group of people as far away from their current lives as is possible.
Self-confessed attention-seeker Erica (pictured right) recently married bouncer boyfriend Matt in Las Vegas.
She says lapdancing has its occasional hazards. “In London I got propositioned quite a lot, by vast amounts of money as well, which was quite hard to turn down but I’m proud to say I did.
“A guy offered me £10,000 for two days with him. I don’t really think I could live with myself if I did that.”
Several other castaways also caught my eye when writing the story yesterday.
They include Joe Chicken, 33, from Kent whose motto is: “Sometimes you are lucky, sometimes you aren’t, whatever your luck, people still smile if you smile at them.”
Later in his biog, the “Did You Know?” fact is: “Joe has often been compared to Alan Partridge.”
Unemployed writer Alister Cooling, 24, from Leeds is a lookalike for Lost’s Hurley.
Photographer Kenneth Rose, 64, from Essex – the oldest in the group – spent 22 years in the Royal Marines and has been awarded the British Empire Medal by the Queen.
Unemployed Jason Ross, 37, from Kent is a recovering drug and alcohol addict.
And posh totty Lucina King, 27, (pictured left)) from London is an ex-convent girl disillusioned with city life.
It’s an interesting mix – with one viewer also getting the chance to join them.
Click on the link below for more details.
Erica’s audition video