Why did you want to go on Treasure Island?
Believe it or not I had applied to be on Hunted which I absolutely love but sadly I got down to the last few but didn’t get picked. Then this came up and they asked me whether I wanted to go on the island, I was like, “What? Love Island?” I’d never heard of this show so I went and had a look into it and thought I’d have a go! I’m not a survival fan, it’s not been a dream of mine, but I just thought it would be a lot of fun and a great challenge.
Were you worried about anything ahead of landing on the island?
I was really only worried about being strong enough to cope with it. I thought I would be the oldest person there so it was amazing when I met Irene and found out she was 75! I just went out there wondering how long I would last before I got carted off the island. I didn’t think for one moment that I would last until the end, my family gave me six days. I didn’t have any self-belief but just thought I would give it my best shot.
You go back to basics on the island, how did you find that?
I didn’t miss my phone at all. The only thing I missed was my saxophone, I missed being able to play music but that was it. I missed having a book or conversations about abstract things, like drawing, reading and talking about movies and plays. At the beginning I felt that no one seemed to have any conversations that I connected with, it was so frustrating. A lot of the youngsters were talking about Made In Chelsea and TOWIE, all these shows I have absolutely no interest in. It made me feel so lonely. There were times when I thought I was losing it because there just wasn’t anyone there who I found relatable.
So you didn’t bond with anyone then?
No I did bond with people and Initially I felt a connection with Irene and Ivar, maybe because they were more in my age group, but after a while I managed to bond with the others, even if they were talking about TOWIE and Made in Chelsea. Going through such hard challenges together means you make bonds that will never leave you regardless of different characters and temperaments
How did the introduction of the money impact relationships on the island?
There was skulduggery, duplicity and outright greed on display every day we were there. It was shocking, I must admit. I was really disappointed with that. I went out there thinking we could be as egalitarian as possible, share the money, and all that. They kept calling me the Jeremy Corbyn of the island because I kept thinking about us as a group rather than as individuals. I just thought we all had equal value on that island, we all played a part in one shape or another, so why shouldn’t we all have an equal share of the money? We could have all walked away with ten grand each and it would have been such a brilliant message to show the world.
When did you realise people were hiding money and what did you think when you found out?
It was really quite a way through our time on the island. I was absolutely flabbergasted when I found out that Ivar and Marco had hidden a lot of the money. No one had asked them outright, so I did and Marco came clean. He admitted that they had agreed they wouldn’t lie if someone asked them directly about the money but if they didn’t then they wouldn’t reveal they had found so much. I was stunned. That set the cat amongst the pigeons because then those who had also found and hid money had to come clean and those of us who had been in the dark were furious. Each revelation that came out was more shocking than the last.
It sounds like the money divided the camp?
Oh for sure, it did. I remember trying to process everything and realising the rug had been pulled from under me. You think you are part of a team only to discover that you’re not at all, most people are in it for themselves only. I remember going to sleep one night with Ivar on one side and Marco on the other and waking up the next morning so angry by the fact I was sandwiched between two people who had hidden a lot of money, without my knowing. If I had known I would have nudged them out the way so I could get closer to the fire and get some warmth. We’ve got an island WhatsApp group and after we got the money when we were home Emily sent us all a picture showing off a new car and telling us she was glad she never shared her money. I couldn’t believe it. I was so angry.
Ivar confided in you about his royal links, what did you think when he told you?
I couldn’t believe it! I was so shocked when he told me. It was quite early on when I was really thinking about leaving. I’d had enough, I didn’t feel like I could cope and just as I was thinking about going he sat me down and shared information about himself as a way of trying to make me feel less alone. He said he would tell me two secrets, one that he’s gay, which isn't a big deal, so what. And then the other thing he told me was he’s cousin to the Queen. Even though Ivar and I were polar opposites politically, we had a friendship because of out of all the people there at least he could string a sentence together!
What was the worst moment for you on the island?
It was probably when I got sick, which I totally did to myself. We had run out of water because our supply had been contaminated with sea water when the tide came in. Everyone told me not to drink it and some of the others went looking for more fresh water. I drank it anyway and was seriously ill afterwards. It was such a silly decision on my part. There’s just something about loads of people telling me not to do something that makes me want to do it even more. I didn’t know the human body could have such explosive force emanating from every orifice. I went through five people’s undergarments because I kept being ill. It was awful! It looked like I was making a mountain out of a mole hill, but I really was in so much pain.
How much weight did you lose on the island?
I had this image in my brain that I would look amazing because I lost nearly two stone. Instead I when I looked at myself in the mirror when I got off the island I was shocked. I looked really ravaged, almost like the crazed woman from Borneo. My hair was all over the place, my clothes were hanging off me, I looked a state. I knew I was bad when I met up with the islanders for dinner on our first night off the island and I’d had a shower and put some make-up on, everyone thought I looked like a different person!