Why did you want to go on Treasure Island?
For me, it was just that I'm like at the peak of my physical fitness and I just thought, something like this is just never, ever going to come around again. You can't pay for an experience like that. So for me, when I saw the applications open I went for it but I never in a million years thought I'd even get asked to actually do it! So when I did get through I was just so made up, I just couldn't believe what I was actually going to do!
Was there anything that you were particularly nervous about before you arrived on the island?
I was just worried about what would happen with the water situation because, I knew eventually we were going to find it but I was worried that we might struggle to begin with. I was also really worried about actually drinking it because when I’ve seen previous series and it looks like the colour of Coke and it just tastes nothing like Coke!
What was it like meeting Bear Grylls for the first time?
I couldn't quite believe it but it kind of put things in perspective, I just thought, “Wow, OK, this is really actually going to happen now!” It was just a bit crazy, I was a bit star struck to be honest! Then he just starts talking to you like it’s the most normal thing in the world, asking you things like if you've been preparing and stuff like that. He didn't really give us much advice at all. He wanted us to just go and have the experience. He gave us a few tips, but if we asked him things, he didn’t want to give anything away. I think it was a case of dump us on the island and see what happens!
What did you think of the other islanders when you met them?
Honestly? You wouldn't put any of us together as friends, we’re all so different but it goes to show that you can really be friends with such a mixed group of people. Like Jim, he's a 50-odd year old builder, a proper bloke, but he’s absolutely hilarious and we just got on so well. With Elissa, I thought we were really going to clash at first because everything was just so dramatic. But, again, she turned out to be so lovely. I bonded really well with Emily too, I would say she's probably the person I was closest to.
This is the first time the series has introduced money, what were your thoughts about that?
Genuinely, being one hundred percent truthful, I thought going into this, anything you come out with is something you didn't have before. So I just thought, “If I find anything it is just going to be a massive bonus”. But also I was a little a bit worried going in thinking there was going to be some people there who were only there for the money and it could get pretty intense. I was worried we might not prioritise things that we needed to live, like water, food, fire, things like that.
What impact did the money have on everyone?
Well, literally, on the first night we all had a bit of an argument about it, so from night one and I thought this could cause some problems here!
What was this argument about?
Ben was saying "Right, when we get all set up tomorrow, I'm gonna go off and I'm gonna have a look for money. Anything that I find, I'm just gonna keep for myself”, and I was like, "Are you joking? There is so much to do first, before we do that and then you're just gonna keep it for yourself if you find anything, without helping anyone. I was looking around the group and we had people like Irene, she’s 75 and was never going to be able to go walking through the jungle looking for money but she contributes to the experience just like everyone else, so does she not deserve to leave with some money?
So you wanted to split it equally between everybody that was on the island?
Yeah, 100%, because I just thought, “We're all here for the same experience, we're all contributing. Nobody deserves it more than anybody else”. It’s just a shame so many of the others didn’t think like that.
How did you find life on the Island?
Everything's so heightened, the littlest thing can become such a major issue. The hardest thing is not being able to contact anyone from home and just being able to tell them that everything is all right. Something I found really difficult is just walking in the heat of the day, you'd just normally be able to do so easy but everything's just a lot harder when you haven’t been eating and drinking as much as you would like to.
So the food situation was tough?
Oh god... horrible! I'd say the best thing we ate was something me and Emily found, they were these weird fruits that tasted like Haribo Tangfastics! There weren't many of them, and they were all up on high trees, so we could only get them once they had fallen, but I'd say they were the best thing we had. We were also eating winkles and oysters too. To be honest the food situation wasn’t as bad as the living situation.
I'd never been camping before this, so talk about throwing yourself off the deep end! I mean, you wake up a lot, you're probably up every hour because it’s so uncomfortable and you’re just freaking out about what might be out there in the dark watching you! As soon as it goes dark, that's it. We didn't have any big lights or anything to put on so for a good ten hours you are just in the dark, and it’s so dark you can hardly see your hand in front of your face.
So what was the worst thing about life on the island?
Oh God, the sandflies. You're told about it but you don't know how bad it's going to be. We just slept with our hands out, our faces out, that kind of thing. That was the worst mistake. You literally have to have every body part covered. I had my head completely wrapped up, only my eyes out, because they will get in and it's horrible! It feels like your skin is crawling. I would wake up in the night and my skin would feel like it was on fire because I just wanted to scratch everything. I'm not joking, if you go off for a wee in the night and you put your head lamp on, that's such a bad mistake, the minute you put a light on, I'm not even joking, like a thousand will just be in front of the light. It's horrible!
Was the experience harder than you anticipated?
I knew it were going to be difficult, I knew it were gonna be like intense, I’d probably be starving, all that kind of thing, but even if you mentally prepare yourself for it, you can't prepare at all.
You left early, why?
I did and it's the biggest regret I've ever had in my life. Some people might call this an excuse or whatever, but at the time me and my boyfriend had just got keys to our first home. I just thought how I was missing out on an important part of our life together for just a few weeks on the island. It didn’t sit well with me and it were kind of breaking my heart. Once I'd got that into my head, it just kind of consumed me.
How did you feel on the boat leaving the Island?
I massively, massively regretted leaving. But it's nothing I can change now, but I will always beat myself up over it.