The cast of one of the world’s first reality TV shows, Castaway, are reuniting this weekend — 10 years on.
Based on the 60s series Gilligan’s Island, the 36 volunteers agreed to go off the grid together on the remote Hebredian island of Taransay, and it was a life-changing experience for many of them.
They were filmed as they struggled to cope with composting loos and eco homes. They soon found that the production company was tricky and manipulative. One of them sued successfully for libel.This weekend the Castaways meet again for the first time – back on Taransay, this time without the cameras present.
Oliver Stephenson was seven at the time – now he is about to go to college: “The things I missed were television and flushing toilets. Sometimes we didn’t have much to eat, but it was rewarding to eat what we had grown. I learnt how to knit and splice ropes – I helped make our garden hammock out of fishing nets from the island.”
Off-Grid wonders whether the reunion will lead any of them to return to Taransay for good – there has rarely been a better time.