James (Postman), 32, Castleford
Nathan (Graphic Designer), 28, Castleford
Nathan and James met at a New Year’s Eve party in 2013 and a year later, they became housemates and are now the best of friends. They share a love of skiing, Escape Rooms and golf. The pair have had many adventures travelling all over the world together to far flung places including South Korea, Mexico, Japan, Bali, America and Singapore. James is a massive football fan and follows Chelsea religiously. Nathan doesn’t quite understand his friend’s love of the game!
They are both profoundly deaf. James was diagnosed deaf shortly after birth and Nathan lost his hearing aged 2 after contracting meningitis. As a deaf person, James says that they face communication barriers every day and the housemates want to prove by going on the run that deaf people can succeed facing adversity. They have some dastardly plans to outwit the hunters which involve using their extensive deaf network and a big dose of cheek.
They have complimentary communication skills which makes then a great team, James can lip read extremely well, even from a distance, and Nathan can speak well.
They both had cochlear implants but plan to leave their implants at home when they are on the run as they want to embark on this challenge with no aids so they can show what it is like to be profoundly deaf in a hearing world.
James attended a school for deaf students from the age of seven to 19 whereas Nathan attended mainstream school which had many challenges.
They agree the benefit to being profoundly deaf is that they always sleep well and hope this will help on the run! Winning the money would allow Nathan to put a deposit on his first home which would be life changing.
Why did you want to take part in Hunted?
Nathan: There are loads of barriers for deaf people, and I want to prove that you can break down the barriers and overcome the challenges. I want to let hearing people who watch on national TV see how hard it is for deaf people living through daily life.
James: I’d like people within the deaf community to see me doing this on TV and feel confident enough to do what I'm doing. When they see me I hope that it will motivate them to think, “Well, I can do that. He can't talk. He's profoundly deaf. I could do that.”
What do each of you think you’ll bring to your Hunted partnership? Are you worried about falling out?
Nathan: If me and James ever have an argument, we move on and get over it. When we argue, we'll always give each other space. Yes, we can be grumpy at each other, but we move on and get over it.
James: I'm sure when we're on the road we'll learn new things about each other. I know Nathan like a book really. I know him really, really well. It will be the first time ever that we're together for 23 days, and we will know that it may be stressful and we'll be tired, but we've travelled all over the world together for the last five years, so we've got all the experience that we can bring. I think we’ve only ever had two arguments in the past. We just move on and we just get on with it.
What tactics, if any, are you planning to employ?
Nathan: The deaf world is quite small, so we’ll be using that network. We don't rely on using telephone by listening to it – we use video call. Obviously, the hunters can get things like ping location from videocall and pick up sound from conversations, however, we won't be using the sound – we’ll only be using sign language through video, so even if they intercept the call, they won’t be able to just hear us talking about plans. That should leave them baffled by what we’re talking about.
James: We're going to have three or four different plans in our mind at a time so that we can jump between each plan if some of it actually doesn't work. The plan that we've got is that we will only use sign language to communicate with each other and with any of our associates. We've even got our own sign language that we've made up between ourselves – even the sign language interpreter community and deaf community won't know, it's just our private sign language.
Are there things you’ve seen in previous Hunted series’ that you’d like to adopt – or avoid?
Nathan: I've watched all seasons, and sometimes you think “Why are they doing that?!” – I think it’s about mentality. Your body is drained and you can't think straight, and that’s when you tend to make mistakes. There are couple things I would like to avoid, but sometimes you have to do it to take a risk and hopefully you can escape that situation.
James: One thing that I'm going to definitely avoid is making any sound. When we're using any technology, we're not going to use our voices or anything.
How confident are you in your abilities? Do you think you have what it takes to make it to the end?
Nathan: I don’t want to sound like I'm cocky, but I'm confident we will get through more than two weeks. I'm fairly confident to get to day 23.
James: If we get over the launch, then I'm confident that we can carry on and we'll we'll get more confident as days go on. If we do get caught, we can be very proud of what we've achieved. That we've actually gone on the run and that we've broken down barriers for all the deaf people within the UK to see that they can do the same. That would be a massive achievement for us.
What do you think the experience of being on the run will be like?
Nathan: I think it will be exhausting. Hopefully it’ll give me adrenaline, because I'm a bit of an adrenaline person. I’ve done things in the past like bungee jumping because I enjoy that experience of the adrenaline. Hopefully this will be even exciting.
James: The communication with strangers – that’s going to be a big thing. Because I'm always comfortable when communicating with people that I know. But with people I don't know, I always tend to back off. So obviously, hopefully this experience will give me more confidence to communicate with people that I've never met before.
How do you feel about the prospect of having no technology, no money, no backpack and no possessions?
Nathan: It's a lot of pressure, because in some of the previous years they had a backpack on the first day and they've got a getaway plan. We know the hardest part is just to get away on the launch day, and hopefully we get out more than sixty or a hundred miles away. We’ll feel safer once we’re away and have hopefully picked up some supplies along the way. I would say I can survive without technology, but I would be very, very, very bored because it's just one of your day-to-day life habits. I’m used to being able to just pick up the phone and scrolling through for five minutes.
James: It sounds really scary, but when I think about it, when we were travelling, we didn't really use technology that much. How we cope without money might be more of a question.
If you manage to avoid capture, what would you spend your winnings on? How big a factor is the money for you?
James: I would definitely use some of the money to pay off my mortgage that I've got on my house. I would use some of the money for decorating new projects around the house.
Nathan: I would like to get a deposit for a house for my future’s sake, so I've got a roof over my head. The money would have a big impact and be a massive help for my future as well as my family.
What life/career experiences have you had that you think would give you the edge over the hunters and other fugitives?
James: Me and Nathan have been travelling a lot around the world. Like I said previously, we know our limits and what we're capable of.
Nathan: My career. I'm a graphic designer and a web designer so I know some coding and people call me a technology geek. So would I use that to my advantage? I’m not sure, because it’s quite risky. I know it can be safe it you use technology in a sensible way, but once you use technology, you have to get out straightaway, so the hunters don’t have a chance to find you