Over 5000 miles from the UK, the uninhabited islands are part of a remote archipelago in the Pacific Ocean.
The islanders have to survive during the peak of the dry season. With hot and humid conditions, periods of sunshine and very little rain, the islanders will have to battle temperatures of up to 35 degrees C while often managing cold, uncomfortable nights.
It may look like paradise but looks can be deceiving; treacherous cliffs and headlands surround the island, occasionally giving way to sandy coves and beaches. The interior is covered with dense jungle and wet mangrove teeming with life - including insects, spiders, snakes and giant crabs.
Changes to the Local Environment
It's important that the natural habitat isn't disrupted or damaged by the islanders or the filming of the series, and that the island is returned to its natural state following the end of the experiment.
As filming takes place in the dry season when wet weather is unlikely, water sources are added to the island to ensure the islanders have access to enough water. However, the islanders still have to find, fetch and purify the water - around 50 litres a day in total!
For the islanders to have a chance of survival they need to rely on the sea as well as what the island itself has to offer. Rip tides, hidden rocks, stingray and stonefish mean that even fishing can be a risky activity.
For the first time, this series the islanders have the opportunity to win a share of £100,000. Over 35 days, bundles of cash are dropped in various locations around the island. Those who find the money can keep it to themselves, share it, give it to another islander or hide it; it's left with the islanders to decide what to do with their cash. If an islander leaves the island for any reason, they're required to hand over their cash and forfeit their right to a prize.
Survival is impossible without water: the human body can survive three weeks without food, but only three days without water. In order to stave off dehydration the islanders have to purify their water by boiling it over a fire.
The islanders are abandoned with only the clothes they stand up in, a few tools and basic fishing equipment. The tools include machetes, knives, jerry cans for water, whistles and head torches, plus sunscreen and mosquito repellent.
Flotsum and Jetsum
It is now estimated that over eight million tonnes of plastic are dumped in our oceans every year. A huge variety of material washes up on the shores of the Pacific islands every day, from food containers to toothbrushes and flip-flops. Flotsam and jetsam provide the islanders with material that can be potentially helpful for their survival, but only if they have the resourcefulness to adapt it.
Before going on the island, Bear organised for the celebrities to have two days of survival training. They learnt the basics of survival, from first aid, lighting fire and water purification, to the humane dispatch of animals. They also received basic health and safety training.
Modifications to the Island
It's ensured that there are enough indigenous animals and vegetation for the islanders to survive throughout their time on the island as long as they have the ingenuity to catch, kill or utilise these natural resources. The island already has birds, snakes and iguanas that the islanders can hunt and eat. There are also crabs, limpets and winkles that they can collect. In addition, local indigenous wild goats rich in protein have been added to the island to supplement the natural resources. This is essential to ensure that the Islanders have enough sustenance to survive, and to ensure that the experiment offers an authentic survival experience.
Flora and Fauna
The yucca plant has a carb-rich edible root, which can provide the islanders with a vital source of carbohydrate, starch, calcium and vitamin C. Each yucca root has around 400 calories. To ensure the islanders have the resources they need to survive, the existing yucca crop has been supplemented, but the islanders will still have to correctly find, identify and harvest the crop.
For the islanders to survive they rely on the coconuts found on the island's perimeters. Each coconut can contain around 1000 calories and over 100g of fat as well as hydrating coconut water. Coconuts can also have a laxative effect, which could prove useful for the islanders, who are surviving on such a protein rich diet!
On the island there's a wide variety of edible fruits, including pineapples and the distinctive noni fruit. But the islanders will have to beware as some fruit on the island can cause dangerous stomach conditions and worse.
The seas around the island have a plentiful supply of fish, from small whitefish to stingray and even sharks.
One of the most dangerous fish in the world can be found in the waters surrounding the island. Each stonefish has spines on the dorsal fin, which contain highly toxic venom that can kill in less than two hours. Its camouflaged skin makes it very difficult to spot, and even easier to tread on!
As dangerous as it sounds! The death apple is one of the island's biggest threats. The poison in one tiny apple can kill. In fact, it's so poisonous, even standing under a death apple tree during a rainstorm can result in the run-off water dripping poison to those below causing the skin to crack and blister.
Boa constrictors are indigenous to the island. They are often to be found in clearings in the forest, exactly where the islanders may be making camp. They can grow to four metres in length and can kill by suffocating their prey.
The islanders will have to do battle with one of the island's most irritating predators: the sandfly. Though smaller than mosquitos, their bite is said to be four times as itchy, and to make matters worse they bite multiple times in clusters, leaving their victims with a rash of painful red welts on the skin.
Health and Safety
Before the Experiment
The health and safety of islanders is the top priority. Before going on the island, all the islanders have a full medical and psychological assessment to ensure that they are fit and robust enough for the demands of the experiment. The islanders can also request contact with the show's psychologist at any time during filming.
Safety of the Islanders
The islanders have a strong support network to help them deal with any medical emergencies. Two of the Islanders are trained medical professionals, who undertake weekly assessments of the Islanders’ health and have access to a full medical kit to deal with any minor illnesses or injuries. In the case of serious medical emergency, there's a support medical team based on a nearby island who can provide assistance at any time via radio communication or in person within 15 minutes. A helicopter evacuation team is also available, and despite the remote conditions the helicopter can be on the island in 30 to 40 minutes.
The islanders continue to receive support after filming and through transmission. This includes ongoing access to the series psychologist, full medical assessment on return from the island, nutritional advice and social media/press support.
The Islanders are required to fend for themselves on the island. The medical or safety team on a nearby island will only intervene in the event that the Islanders request their support, if there was a serious incident (e.g. medical emergency or serious weather event), or for health and safety reasons.
There are six experienced camera operators among the islanders who have a specific responsibility to capture the experiment on film. They live in similar conditions to the islanders and are part of the island community. Due to the physical demands of filming, the camera crew are provided basic food rations by the production team. They're not allowed to share these rations with the islanders and are required to eat their rations away from camp.