Footballer Alex Scott “so surprised” to win Mission Survive

Bear Grylls crowned Scott his 2016 champion and the gob-smacked sportswoman says it was clear "gutted" Gardiner was in it to win it

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Alex Scott is stunned she won ITV’s Bear Grylls: Mission Survive tonight and admits it was obvious fellow contestant Jason Gardiner was disappointed to miss out on the title. 

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“I was so surprised I got that far, let alone go on and win the show, that just actually blew my mind,” Scott tells RadioTimes.com after completing the epic 12-day mission in South Africa.

The professional footballer says she would have been happy if any of the three finalists had won, actress Samantha Barks lining up alongside Scott and choreographer Gardiner.

“I don’t think I would have got that far without the help of those guys in the first place,” she said, adding that it was clear Gardiner was gutted to fall at the final hurdle: “Yeah most definitely. In the last couple of days you could see he was all out to win it.

“But I think me and Sam were like, this is us, we’re not going to change and be different towards each other because that’s not in our personalities. Jason did really, really want to win the show.”

The three of them had fun singing and dancing around the campfire, Scott says, making an effort to lighten the mood when things got tough. But when it came to the crunch, Gardiner wanted the title.

“Jason wanted to win the show; obviously when you don’t win, you’re gutted.”

It’s easy to see why. When you’ve chomped down on fish eyeballs, guzzled your own urine and swum in shark-infested waters, you’d think at least a trophy would be on the cards. A ‘well done for taking part certificate’ or something. 

But winning doesn’t seem to have really been on Scott’s mind: “For me, if any of them had won it I’d have been just happy as I was on the journey with them not by myself.”

Scott says there’s a “genuine friendship” between Barks and herself since taking part in the show. “We still hang out together. When we flew back we went to Winter Wonderland; she came to an England game last week. I think that’s why we connected on the show: we’re two girls who like to have fun and laugh about things and have girly chats. We’re definitely still close.”

The sportswoman admits she’s had a fair bit of ribbing from her teammates since the show has been on air. Plenty for saying she had a crush on Bear, which she brushes off now as him having an attractive “aura about him”.

“It’s not like I’d be walking down the street and say, ‘Oh I really fancy that guy!’ When he speaks, and his presence, he really has something about him!” she laughs.

And she’s earned plenty of new heckles on the pitch for her more stomach-turning antics, mainly that rectal rehydration.

“I was playing football at the weekend and I got all the comments from the chants like ‘Oh Alex, you look really hydrated today!’ The week before it was the elephant dung and the week before that it was drinking my own wee. I just have to smile and go with it!”

But it seems she’s got the bug for TV and has her eye on something far more sparkly in the future.

“I think I’d like to do something totally different from what I’ve just done. Strictly Come Dancing would be a big one. I do like a bit of dancing and some music!” 

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For more from Bear Grylls, catch The Island with Bear Grylls on Channel 4 Mondays at 9pm