The Island’s Phil Coates says he was “aghast” at decision to call a vote against him

“I have grown from the experience,” he told “I certainly hope that the others have too”


It was an unprecedented move on The Island with Bear Grylls, and one that left viewers completely and utterly shocked.


For the first time ever on the show and despite not being part of the format of the programme, the islanders called a vote against one of their own.

Cameraman Phil Coates was voted off the island after nine people decided they wanted him to leave, with six wanting him to stay.

Asked how he felt when he realised a meeting was being called to decide his future on the island, Coates told “I was rather aghast. I could sense something was brewing that morning tensions were high. We had experienced another night of torrential rain.

“When people are tired, hungry and frustrated even in a normal office, tempers can fly. However, Jane added fuel to the fire.”


The move was orchestrated by Jane and Karen who were keen for Phil to leave, but some islanders like Jacqui were totally against the decision. She went so far as to describe the situation like Lord of the Flies – something that Phil says he “totally” agrees with.

“Things got to breaking point with the weather and moral and the team needed a way of venting their pent-up frustrations,” he explains.

Asked whether the vote came as a surprise to him, Coates says: “The outcome was the outcome.”

Looking back on his time on the show, Coates described it as an “extraordinary experience” and that before he was voted off by his fellow islanders, he “never” felt like quitting the show himself.

“Even when things were getting really challenging,” he says. “There were several personality clashes within the group, however I put that down to the fact that people can behave in extreme ways in extreme situations. At the end of the day, I had a job to do and I’m not a quitter.”

He had “no hard feelings at all” towards his fellow islanders and that he had “grown” from the experience, adding: “I certainly hope that others have too.”

Summing up being a part of the show as “unforgettable”, Coates says that he had no regrets whatsoever about his time on The Island.

“It has taught me so much about myself and others,” he said. “It has added to the growing rich tapestry of my life.

“I have become more accepting of others, their foibles, their perspectives on lives, their thinking and actions. I am eternally grateful that this experience was our choice. And now, I will be doing more humanitarian and charity work.”


The Island with Bear Grylls continues on Monday May 8 at 9pm on Channel 4