Hunted: Series 6 – interview with Amarinder and Shoba

Category: Press Pack Article

Amarinder (Dentist), 34, Essex
Shoba (Admin Officer), 59, Essex
Mother and Son

Shoba, was raised in a traditional Indian household and had an arranged marriage at just eighteen. She has spent most of her life devoting herself to her 4 children, which includes her youngest son 34-year-old son Amarinder.

Amarinder is a self-confessed ‘mummy’s boy’. Shoba and Amarinder do everything together, from exercising to shopping. They pay particular attention to their grooming techniques.

Even throughout lockdown they continued to dye their hair, thread their brows and dress well. After going to university, Amarinder bought a house with his brother but because he missed his mum so much, he moved back in with her.

Amarinder was at university for 8 years in total; 2 degrees, Biomedical Sciences (3 years) and Dentistry (5 years) both were done at Kings College London. He became a dentist in 2016. As well as teeth, Amarinder also performs Botox and fillers for the people of Essex every Monday. Shoba is a civil servant, working as an admin officer.

Shoba grew up in a strict Indian household. As the eldest daughter, she helped her mum to do all the cooking and cleaning. Her marriage was arranged for her when she was just 18 and she only met her husband a few times at her parents house before the wedding.

Shoba has spent the last 40 years being a wife and mother but recently, with Amarinder’s help, she has started to try new experiences and share the housework with her husband.

With her 60th birthday coming up, Shoba wants the first proper adventure of her life. It will be one of the first things she has done for herself. Amarinder is keen to show his Mum that age is just a number. The pair have a huge network of family all over the UK that they plan to utilise. They also do ‘yoga and spin’ which Amarinder hopes will help them have the edge over the hunters!

Why did you want to take part in Hunted?

Amarinder: One of the biggest reasons why I wanted to do it is because I wanted to go on an adventure with my mum. I wanted you to take part in Hunted because I find my life has been feeling a little bit boring with my career and stuff. I needed excitement in my life. I get bored really easily. But being the baby of four, I'm closest to my mum. She’s lived her life and I want to go on this crazy, amazing adventure with her.

Shoba: I'm taking part in this because again, I haven't had an opportunity to do anything for myself. I've just been a mum doing things to fulfil my kids’ lives, and it's about time I do something for myself, so I'm going to go for it. And obviously I’m going with my son – we’re quite close and we’re just going to enjoy those moments and experience adventure. And I’d love to show you can do something like this at any age. I feel maybe I might inspire people out there.

What do each of you think you’ll bring to your Hunted partnership? Are you worried about falling out?

Amarinder: I'm very quick thinking. I think logically, one step ahead. My mind's really good at thinking like that.

Shoba: But I'm, I'm the opposite. I have the calmness and patience and my communication is good. If Amarinder's not coping, I can deal with that to calm him down.

What tactics, if any, are you planning to employ? Are there things you’ve seen in previous Hunted series’ that you’d like to adopt – or avoid?

Amarinder: So definitely like service stations where there's cameras, public transport, things like that, that's things we could avoid. But things like getting phone calls, getting a decoy person we loved that we loved tricking the hunters and annoying them. Like that's the best bit that we find. We definitely want to do something like that 100%. We’d love to actually go and visit some of our closest people just to annoy the hunters and show off that we went to meet them and they missed us.

How confident are you in your abilities? Do you think you have what it takes to make it to the end?

Amarinder: I definitely think we have what it takes to make it to the end, because people pre-judge us that maybe we're high maintenance, maybe we need our luxuries and stuff, but we can rough it if we need to. They don't know what we're truly like.

Shoba: I’m very confident in our abilities. I think we can adjust to any situation.

Amarinder: If we need to sleep under a tree, we'll sleep under tree. But people will not think we'll be able to do that.

Do you think your friends and family will be surprised at you taking part in this?

Amarinder: 100%. Especially Mum. Seriously, especially an Indian woman Mum's age? I don't think people will believe it. Even I still can't believe my mum's doing this and it’s me going with her! All my siblings are in shock that Mum's doing this. Even her grandchildren are in shock that their grandmother is doing.

Shoba: I've got a circle of friends that would never, ever think of doing this ever. And, you know, I haven't told them about the programme. I just said there is something I'm going to do. They're like so excited to know what it is. I said, I can't tell you anything yet. The ones that do know have said, “Oh my god! What are you doing?”

Amarinder: My mum touched a tent for the first time this week! We've never owned a pair of waterproof clothes before. Yes, this is the first time.

What do you think the experience of being on the run will be like?

Shoba: It's a bit daunting because obviously we're not going to have our phones. No money, no nothing. I haven't been in this situation before and I am a bit nervous about it to tell you the truth, but it's going to be another experience. I might get something good from it. It’s an experience I hope I might learn something from. I suppose we take things for granted in life. This is definitely going to be a challenge.

Amarinder: I'm expecting the unexpected. I truthfully know it's going to be emotionally and physically hard as well, and it's going to test me I've never been in this situation without my luxuries, my phone, my bed, that and food like and money. I depend on all this stuff and to be without it's just going to be really weird. But I've got my mum. My mum’s one of my biggest supports in my life, so I'm lucky I'm not doing it alone. I think as a team I think we'll be fine supporting each other. That will get us through it

Shoba: Even getting up to this stage has built my confidence. I feel really positive about going out there.

Amarinder: That's the reason why I want to do it. Was to give my mum the confidence that I know she has.

How do you feel about the prospect of having no technology, no money, no backpack and no possessions?

Amarinder: Out of all of it, I think it will be the strangest thing not having my phone. It’s one of my life luxuries and everything is on it. I depend on it in a way.

Shoba: I think it's going to be a shock to me. I'm going to be so confused at first. It's going to take me a couple of days to get into this whole thing.

Amarinder: I think we might surprise ourselves.

If you manage to avoid capture, what would you spend your winnings on?

Amarinder: It's for Mum. My mum and dad have given me and my siblings everything and sacrificed so much of their life. So believe me, I don't want a penny of it and I want my mum and dad to have a guilt free trip around the world to live their life. I don't want any of it. So that's what I want because my mum and dad gave us everything.

Shoba: I think I would spend the money on my children.

Amarainder: Oh, see!

Shoba: I know I've given them, like Amarinder said, everything now. But when initially when we me and my husband married and we had the children, there was a lot of things that we couldn't give them when they were little children. For example, my daughter wanted music lessons and I my husband clearly said no because we can't afford it. She is 42 now. She's a doctor, she's done amazingly well, but I still feel that guilt in my heart as a parent. You always do. So my kids are going to get money for things that I couldn't give them. I want to give them one guilt-free wish each because they’re all independent.

Amarinder: And whatever happens we would always want to give some of the winnings to charity. That’s important to us too.

How big a factor is the money for you?

Amarinder: I think from my point of view, mine is to see my mother win this. That's more important to me. If my mum wins it, she'll get the confidence up I know she has, and she'll believe in herself. It's that confidence that I think I want my mum to win. That's the ultimate thing. Money can't buy that to know that my mum has won this and she's going out of her comfort zone and doing something that she's never done in her life.

Shoba: Always in my life, whatever I've started, I do finish it to the end. This will be my “Mission: Possible”.

What life/career experience/s have you had that you think would give you the edge over the hunters and other fugitives?

Amarinder: With my everyday job as a dentist, my head is here, there and everywhere every day. Every day I get double patients. I think frantically every day. But yet I still manage to be organised in my thinking, calm myself down somehow and just focus and that’s what I want to do on the run. There's going to be so many things going in my head, but that wouldn’t be a shock to me. I think that logical, quick, critical thinking that I believe I'm good at because of my job will help with that.
I know one thing that my mom would be she's been through a lot in her life and she's a very strong emotional she's the strongest person in our family of all the men and women in our family. She's the strongest one mentally out of all of us.

Shoba: I think the hunters might see I'm not that much on social media, so they might find it difficult to figure me out. That will be a strength. But mainly I think it’s my mentality. I believe I can hold my nerve and can deal with whatever situation they throw at me.