After seven years cast away from our TV schedules, cult reality classic Shipwrecked returns this February, with a new batch of adventurers making their way to a remote island in the Pacific to join Team Tiger or Team Shark and battle it out for the £50,000 prize.
The cast of 2019 features a varied and diverse mix of young people from a variety of social and ethnic backgrounds and with jobs ranging from trainee Marine to wigmaker, recruitment manager to waitress.
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This comes in the wake of criticism of another sun-drenched reality show, ITV2’s Love Island, which some viewers complained was lacking in racial and body diversity.
And while the first nine Shipwrecked contestants have clearly been selected to some extent because they are easy on the eye – and even include a couple of models – presenter Vick Hope says she is “proud” of a line-up she believes is more diverse than that of Love Island.
Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com at the Shipwrecked launch party, Hope said, “Isn’t it great? I was so proud when I saw the cast of this show because they are so diverse.
“I think it’s brilliant. I looked on some of the tabloids the other day when the line-up was announced and some people were like, ‘it’s political correctness gone mad’, but I thought, no, this is like the people I hang out with. It’s the people that are around every day.”
The 29-year-old added that Shipwrecked is “allowed” to be diverse, because unlike Love Island, the focus of the programme isn’t on finding romance.
“Because the onus is not being placed on them falling in love or finding matches, it’s allowed to be more diverse,” said Hope. “They don’t have to be a certain type of person to fancy each other.”
Hope added that the show felt “natural” as it was similar to the gap-year travels many young people take, compared to more manufactured reality shows.
“Even if there weren’t cameras, this show would still exist,” she said. “People like to go travelling in their early 20s and these are people who want to do that, so it feels more natural.”
Shipwrecked starts Monday 28th January at 9pm on E4