Meurig (Mental Health Nurse), 30, Swansea
Elinor (Waitress), 22, Swansea
Meurig and Elinor met in a local nightclub four years ago and since then the pair have been inseparable. Armed with an extensive knowledge of the rolling hills of Wales and being ‘at one’ with the outdoors they are thinking of their time on the run as a once in a lifetime chance to be the Bonnie and Clyde of Wales (but without the violence!).
18 months ago, Meurig contracted suspected COVID-19 which led to him developing pulmonary embolisms on his lungs. As a couple, it was an incredibly scary time as Meurig thought he was going to die. Elinor supported and cared for him during this difficult time leaving the couple stronger than ever.
Elinor has just finished her degree in Biology and currently works as a waitress in the pub opposite from their flat. Their weekends are spent hiking hills, foraging for edible plants or searching for animals in their natural habitats. With a small social circle, the two enjoy doing everything together which is why they think they’ll be a force to be reckoned with on the run.
Meurig wants to go on the run to prove to himself that he can still do all the things he could do before he got ill. Elinor wants to prove to the people who think of them as “young and incapable” that they have so much more to offer. They plan to use their extensive knowledge of the UK to help them navigate across the country with ease and speed. They also want to put their foraging skills to good use so that they can eat wild and spend as little money as possible.
If they make it to the end and win the money, they would love to buy their first home together.
Why did you want to take part in Hunted?
Meurig: I felt like I wanted to challenge myself by taking on something quite adventurous like this. I’ve been a little stagnant over the last few years so wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone in order to sort of understand myself a little more.
Elinor: I also wanted to challenge myself and work on my own self-confidence, particularly in my own decision making. I want to make more choices, stand by them and be able to trust my gut more!
What do each of you think you’ll bring to your Hunted partnership? Are you worried about falling out?
Meurig: I think I’m very confident, very outgoing and together as a team, we’ve got the ability to benefit each other in terms of Elinor feeling a little more under-confident. I’m going to support her with whatever decisions she makes because we really are a team. I don’t think we’ll fall out – we might have a little bicker, but essentially we live in each other’s pockets and Elinor’s my best friend.
Elinor: I think I’ll bring a cool head, a calm, rational planned out frame of mind. Then with Meurig’s quickfire decisions, his confidence, his gut that he trusts, we can find a nice balance and hopefully get to the end. I’m not really too concerned about us falling out – I think we know each other very well. We know what makes each of us aggy or why we might be annoyed so that is helpful.
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?
Meurig: We’re going to try and take advantage of using more modern technologies like GPS spoofing, jailbroken phones, using Tor (the dark web) as a method of gaining contact with people to try and mislead the Hunters.
Ideally we’d like to try and avoid being caught! From watching previous series, it seems that if you can sense the Hunters are watching and close, they probably are! Another thing I’ve learnt is to always have your shoes on and be ready to run… Essentially never take your shoes off.
Elinor: We’re going to try and stay off grid, especially if we need to communicate with someone that the Hunters may well be watching. Something we might try for instance is writing reviews via Trip Advisor that contain clues in with regards to where we might want to be picked up from and at what time.
I think we’ll also go for a few disguises and distraction techniques as that’s proved quite successful in previous series.
How confident are you in your abilities? Do you think you have what it takes to make it to the end?
Meurig: It’s waning daily but I’m fairly confident we can evade the Hunters. I don’t want to sound too bolshy as we’re only at the very beginning, but we have a really good network of close community links from where we’re from in Wales who are willing to help.
Elinor: I would say a good 7/10 in terms of being confident. I feel like we’re a good team and we’re good with roughing it, not having a shower and so on – we’ve got that on our side. We’re not SAS, police, military and don’t do this kind of thing in our normal life, because who does?! But we’re two normal people who can definitely give it a go!
Meurig: I don’t think we would have applied had we not thought we could win. But our idea of what success is has changed – prior to the process, I would have been disappointed not to win the money but now I’d be more disappointed if I didn’t understand myself. And that’s become the most important thing to me. But I do think we can make it to the end – you’ve got to be confident haven’t you?
Elinor: Whatever happens, we’ll have had an experience and we’ll learn more about each other and ourselves which is what it’s really about. I do think we can do it though – we know we’re not going to slip and know we’re a good team.
What do you think the experience of being on the run will be like?
Meurig: Tiring, exhausting and really exciting. It'll be really exciting. It’s going to be really intense in terms of feeling that pressure is on you constantly but it’s also going to be a really big learning curve for me.
Elinor: I would agree. I think it’s going to give me a lot of confidence in myself and perhaps lead to me applying for jobs that I’d previously never have dreamed of doing.
How do you feel about the prospect of having no technology, no money, no backpack and no possessions?
Meurig: No technology sounds sort of delightful doesn’t it? In a way. We’ve prepared for it, and I don’t feel like we’re massive technological people anyway, but it will be really odd because it’s there all the time and you rely on it for so much! It’s going to be like a massive detox but whether or not we’re ready for it is a whole other question.
I think I’m most worried about the reliance on other people – it makes me feel guilty that we’re going to have to rely on others. In terms of not having possessions, the only thing that would bother me is not having somewhere to sleep!
If you manage to avoid capture, what would you spend your winnings on? How big a factor is the money for you?
Meurig: If we win, we’d buy a house together, get a mortgage, a dog, that sort of thing. It would be a real leg up for us moving forward in our life and help cut out those years where you save really hard, don’t really do anything but work, come home and pay more and more bills. That would be a luxury we’d love to have.
Elinor: I’d feel more pleased about the fact that we actually just did it. The fact we did it together and sharing that experience which is a rare thing.
What life/career experience/s have you had that you think would give you the edge over the hunters and other fugitives?
Meurig: As a mental health nurse, my job is really beneficial in terms of being able to manage stress and emotions. It’s also meant I understand myself quite well in terms of how I feel and being able to label those emotions for what they are.
Elinor: I’m a waitress in a bar and meet so many new people every day. They’re all strangers and I have to get them to like me, and even if they’re going through a bad time, it’s down to me to make sure they leave thinking positively. So I think that will really help us to convince strangers to help and get people on our side. I think I’m good at judging people on first impressions and gauging whether they’d be willing to help you. If not, we move on to someone else!