Why did you want to go on Treasure Island?
I’ve watched the show for a few years and I was critical so I thought, “Do you know what, I should probably just do it and see what happens. At that point in life I was probably having a quarter life crisis, whereby I just didn't really know what I wanted to do with work and I just felt a bit trapped and I didn't feel I was achieving much in life. Then that came along, I just thought I could do it.
So you said that you'd watched the series in the past and been critical, what were you critical about?
Well I'd just be like, “Why are you not making a fire? Why are you trying to catch something when you can't even swim? Why are you drinking so much? Why are you just laying there when loads needs to be done?” I'd just be critical, I'd question how hard it actually is because some of the guys that I've seen on that series didn't do anything but lay on the beach, so I've always been critical of that and I just wanted to know if I had the right to even say those things.
Did you like the idea of going back to basics?
Yeah 100% yeah definitely because I've had a phone since I was about 10 and we don't really know anything else, everything is quite complicated on a daily basis. I live on my own so my responsibilities are for lots of things, I've got work, I've got to clean, there's always something that's got to happen. I just wanted to get rid and relax. I go on holiday and for two weeks you don't even look at your social media, your bank account, nothing, you know that you've got your money there, you don't have to worry about anything because you've brought it all out and you can just be free. I just wanted that freedom from all that other complicated stuff in life and just go back to basics.
Are you a camper in normal life or is doing this out of you comfort zone?
I'm not a camper at all and even now to this day if I was going to Brighton Pride for example, it's notorious that you get a tent and you pitch up. You wouldn't see me doing that because I need a mirror, I need to be able to straighten my hair, I need lots of things, I need sockets, so camping is not for me, it never has been. I could camp but why am I going to do that? I can get a B&B or I can't stay in my home, why would I do it? All my family are quite baffled, especially the Caribbean side who are like, “What the hell?” I’m like the black sheep of the family, yeah I just fancy climbing trees and eating coconuts and they're just like, “Okay? Weirdo!”.
Before you flew out there was there anything that you were particularly worried about?
Nothing other than quite vain things if I'm going to be really honest, I'm not a really superficial person but I was worried about how I would look, obviously you're going on TV there's a lot of people watching. If we were not being filmed I probably wouldn't have been worried about the superficial stuff, I'd have been worried about more important things, but instead my focus was, “Oh my God my eyebrows are going to be feral, oh my God how am I going to get a brush through my hair when I get off? all this stuff was going through my mind. The one thing that people kept saying to me because I'm a smoker is, "Aren't you going to miss that the most?” But when it came down to it I literally didn't even think about it. We got off the island and I forgot that I was a smoker because I didn't have any with me.
So did you kick the habit?
Do you know what, I'm not going to say I totally kicked my habit but I don't smoke every day anymore. It kind of showed me that it's mind over matter, if I didn't want to have it then I don't have to, nothing’s going to happen to me, do you know what I mean? So I’ve cut down a lot.
Being a medic out there did you feel a pressure to look after everyone?
No not at all, I'm a medic but my mindset is quite alternative medicine. The way I live my life anyway is super basic so I would never go to the doctors for ailments and stuff, I just try and fix things myself naturally. Also I work in intensive care so unless someone is actually having a cardiac arrest I'm not too bothered! That happened to be the same with Mano because he's a brain surgeon, he's used to seeing severe stuff, he just thought nothing was really that big of a deal so both of us combined we literally were probably the most uncaring, not uncaring medics they could have got! I mean, obviously we cared, but we were practical about stuff. People did like to be dramatic and we were both like, “You’re going to live, just crack on!”
Who was dramatic?
It did happen a lot at the start and it was very quickly put to bed! Elissa trod on something on her heel and you should have seen her. She was on the floor putting her foot in the air and she was pointing at us and going, "Oh look at my foot," and then I'd look at it and be like, "Yeah you've trodden on something, it'll be fine”, it was just like a little pin prick and she was acting like she was going to need her foot cut off! I think people quickly learned that neither of us were going to entertain that behaviour. That's the best thing to do because you know, you've got a child and they fall over and you go, "Oh are you okay?" They go mental, they start crying but if you just point and laugh they get over it really quickly.
So what did you make of the other islanders?
I feel super lucky to have the guys that we had because the majority were all good, in fact, they're all good. I feel lucky that we didn't have any super alpha males or any horrible people that made you feel uncomfortable, nothing like that. I got on with some more than others. Mainly the boys, I got on with the boys but the girls not so much.
How did you get on with Emily?
With Emily, I wanted to break the mould that I don't usually get on with straight girls so I actually purposely got to know her and wanted to be friends with her and we did actually get a little bit close at the start, we ended up bedding down together at night. But then as the time went on I realised I can be quite naïve and I found out that actually she's an absolute snake.
What did you think when you found out they were going to be dropping money on the island?
My first reaction was, "Well this is barbaric”, I really wasn't that impressed. The reason I did it is because I wanted to make friends basically and have an experience so the fact that there was going to be money there obviously it jeopardised that because when there's money involved people change.
Was your plan always to share the money?
I always said if I found it then I would distribute it, we should make a pit and just dump it in the pit and once we've got it all just count it up and divide it between who’s left. That was my hippy idea at the time and when I was telling people this they were giving me a funny look as if to say, “Really? Are you okay hun?” I don't see what the difference is between that and food, you can't go catch a stingray come back and be like, "Actually I'm really hungry today so I'm going to eat this on my own," it's not the done thing.
So how do you feel then when it emerged that people had found a lot of money and were hiding it?
The first thing I found out was when Marco and Ivar found the money. They'd been out for days and days and I just saw it as they lied, that was the main thing. I was coming to terms with the fact that not everyone thinks the same as me, so if you want to keep it I'd just rather you say it out loud so you're honest so that we can all live peacefully. I just thought that if people want to keep their own stuff for themselves then fine, but just be honest about it.
Is that why you called Emily a snake?
On camera she said to everybody that she had come back one day and found cash while she was out on her own so she was going to keep it. That was a lie, she’d found it with Elissa and had been hiding it for days, she just wanted to keep it for herself.
What did you make of the fact that Ivar, a member of the royal family, was hiding money?
People might have a status and he does, he has a status, he is a Mountbatten, but you just don't know what goes on behind closed doors, you can’t ever judge. You could have someone like me who earns an average wage but I don't have any debts and I'm fine every month, I don't have anything to worry about in that sense but actually you'd look at me and think I’m poor. Then you've got someone who might have a rich name but what comes with riches is obviously assets that cost a lot of money, and you could be into a lot of debt. I just thought everyone's got their reasons and it just so happened that he did, you can't really judge someone just on their status.
How did you find the food situation on the island?
The food situation wasn't actually that bad. I was expecting I'd be hungry and emaciated by the time I got off and that did not happen. We had a lot of resources there. There was lots of coconuts so we were able to just eat loads, we caught loads of stuff, Jack was an absolute beast, he was just like Mowgli from Jungle Book so that worked well for us. We were happy for that. We had oysters and lobster. I come off the island and I missed the food there to the point where I can't replace it, there's nothing that tastes as good as the stuff there. Like the pineapple, the coconuts, they don’t taste the same, fish doesn't taste the same, oysters don't taste the same now. Nothing tastes the same so it's actually ruined my life really! You can’t replicate that freshness of plucking things off trees or out the ocean and eating it there and then.
Would you say the experience has changed you in any way?
It has in a way yeah because I think a little bit differently. I feel like I want to seek more fulfilling things in life. Before the show I had a girlfriend, she's quite an active person and I questioned why she was with me because I am very lazy, I'm never going to be that person that will climb a mountain, but now I'm friends with Marco and we're going to go climbing mountains together. I'm totally up for it, it has changed me, I feel more grateful for things in general. I’ve got new friends now, like Marco's literally like my best friend, I never would have thought that would happen. We’ve been hanging out and we’re going to Ivar’s house in a couple of weeks. So the experience has changed me, I’ve made new friends. I’ve got a new perspective on life.
When you got off the island what was it like seeing yourself for the first time in five weeks?
I looked like I was about 16 again. My hair was just back to basics, my eyebrows were pathetic, I just looked super dark. I felt like a chameleon I just completely adapted. I never wore sun cream or nothing, my skin moved into just being dark. I felt so tribal, it was great!
Did you lose loads of weight?
Yeah, I think I lost a stone and a half in total whilst I was there. That's the sugar free diet for you isn't it? We ate well but if it's sugar free, it's about no sugar, no carbs that's why, we were all just eating protein and that's it, that's what happens. I felt amazing, when you feel a certain way you forget what it feels like to feel bloated and heavy after eating bad food. I thought I wanted all this food when I got off the island but on the first night I ate three bananas and felt sick! It was like a total body detox, it was great!