Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls: Who are the contestants? And will they ‘survive’?

Meet the plucky celebs heading for tropical shores...

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The very distinct and most highbrow genres of ‘island gameshow’, and ‘celebrity special’ come together in a perfect, blissful marriage this Sunday as The Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls kicks off on Channel 4 as part of the channel’s Stand Up to Cancer programming (there’s much more on the way in the coming months).

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That’s right – triumphant indignation could well be on its way for anyone who has watched the hopeless antics of minor celebrities on television and thought, “Pff, what a plonker, they wouldn’t last a minute in The Real World.”

Ten famous faces are going feral, and have been dragged out into the wild to fend for themselves for a few weeks. There’ll be some guidance from big Bear himself, who’s rather unreliably contactable via a walkie-talkie while he, presumably, suns himself on a neighbouring island and cackles at the baffling ineptitude of this coterie of grown adults. But really, they’re out on their own, and must find shelter, fresh water, and slay great beasts in order to – Bear Grylls’s favourite word – survive. 

For a few minutes, let’s ignore the fact that this seems indistinguishable from his ITV series Bear Grylls: Mission Survive, and have a look at who’s heading to the island.

Ollie Locke

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Who is he?

Come on, if you’re reading about The Celebrity Island there’s no way you don’t already have Made in Chelsea on series link. Ollie’s 28, and he’s a lovely bloke, who tries to avoid the drama caused by the women around him and JUST WANTS TO BE LOVED. 

Will he survive?

Don’t underestimate the big O. He’s hardworking, he wants to prove that even though he hails from SW6 he’s more than just a Hooray Henry. He’s also come under fire for stabbing a crocodile to death, so we know he’s not afraid to get mucky. Do what ya gotta do Ol, a guy’s gotta eat!

Aston Merrygold 

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Who is he?

One third of erstwhile pop sensation JLS. Duh. Aston’s also 28 and since the dissolution of the band in 2013, has apparently judged a reality dance series I’ve never heard of, and has been Focusing On His Solo Career – a recent single, according to Wikipedia, “has Bruno Mars vibes and is based on influences such as Michael Jackson and Prince.” 

Will he survive?

Wouldn’t have thought so.

Dom Joly

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Who is he?

You know – he’s that bloke off Trigger Happy TV who used to walk around barking into a giant phone. 

Will he survive?

Came fourth in I’m a Celeb back in 2010, so he’s got a good chance, but he’s a bit annoying so they might go Lord of the Flies on him. Speaking of flies, he’s been moaning since he got back to the UK about getting bitten alive by sand flies while filming the series. I think he’ll end up roasting on a makeshift spit. 

Mark Jenkins 

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Who is he?

I know, he’s a gap filler if ever I saw one. Mark is a hotel manager from Torquay-based Channel 4 ob-doc, The Hotel. I didn’t watch it either – this appearance smacks of David Brent appearing on that weird Blind Date thing in The Office Christmas Special.

Will he survive?

It’s a once in a lifetime PR opportunity for Mark. If things go right, he could be looking at a future appearance on Celebs Go Dating… Let’s hope he doesn’t bottle it because really, this is tenuous at best. I’d like to know who dropped out so Mark could take part. He just wants to be included!!

Thom Evans

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Who is he?

Attractive Male Rugby Player.

Will he survive?

Muscles!!!!!!!!

Dr Dawn Harper

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Who is she?

Come on! You know Dawn from down the clinic..! She’s that lovely doc from Embarrassing Bodies.

Will she survive?

Always handy to have a doctor around. Nothing embarrasses or fazes her. Hard grafter. High hopes for Dawn. 

Karen Danczuk

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Who is she?

Ex-wife of Labour MP Simon Danczuk and ‘selfie queen’.

Will she survive?

I don’t know Karen well, but I feel like she’s got a gob on her, which might be divisive, but I imagine she’s quite tough and will pull her weight. Strong contender.

Josie Long

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Who is she?

Josie’s a comedian who does lots of stand-up, panel appearances and presents Short Cuts on Radio 4.

Will she survive?

Strikes me as a woman who gets stressed easily… Possible tantrums, I’d personally like to see her and Dom Joly in a makeshift boxing ring… Would put money on her to take him out in one blow, but I don’t think she will survive on The Island.

Lydia Bright

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Who is she?

Blonde babe off Towie – can’t remember her current romantic situation, she used to be on/off with that Arg chap – is that still going on? Is TOWIE still going on, for that matter?

Will she survive?

Yes. Hard as nails, is our Lyd. Also quite a sweet girl, when it comes down to it. Her type always do well – remember Ferne on last year’s I’m a Celeb?

Zoe Salmon 

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Who is she?

Ex-Blue Peter presenter from Northern Ireland. Also appeared on Dancing on Ice.

Will she survive?

She’s crafty. Practical people solve problems. She’ll survive OK but we’ll forget who she is the minute the credits roll.

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Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls starts on Sunday at 9pm on Channel 4