Nothing But TV Interview: Vick Hope on the return of Shipwrecked.
Shipwrecked is back. The new series will see a batch of adventurous young castaways competing in the ultimate popularity contest on two uninhabited paradise islands in the South Pacific. The two tribes – Sharks and Tigers – will battle it out to win over new arrivals to their respective islands, with a £50k prize fund at stake for the largest tribe at the end of the competition.
Presenter Vick Hope tells us more…
You’re the voice of the new series of Shipwrecked. What appealed to you about being part of the show?
It’s exciting! I watched the show when I was younger, and I remember thinking of all the reality shows around at the time that Shipwrecked would be the one I’d most like to take part in. Because it’s an adventure, and travelling on your own and meeting people with the same sense of adventure when you’re young is a dream that we all have. I feel really honoured to be a part of the new series.
What can you tell us about the new series?
There are two rival tribes – The Sharks and the Tigers - on two rival tropical islands competing to win over new arrivals, with £50k prize available for the largest tribe at the end. You’ll see beautiful friendships formed, some sweet summer romance, some explosive arguments, betrayals and island swapping. And that’s just in the first week!
Did you get to go to the Cook Islands?
I was on the dancefloor when Shipwrecked was being filmed and I didn’t come on board until it had all finished filming. I think it takes a few flights to get to the Cook Islands from the UK, but it certainly looks like paradise once you’re there and that shows on screen. They look absolutely stunning on the show. The contestants were all so lucky to have gone and had that experience. I’m very jealous of them because it looks absolutely gorgeous – better than Instagram!
Why do you think the show was so relatable to you?
It’s something I would have wanted to do when I was younger, for sure. Even taking away the TV show part, it’s an incredible life experience to go to the other side of the world and build a life and new friendships in paradise. But also, the idea of working out who your tribe are was so important to me when I was younger. I think that’s the same for all of us. The idea of what forms your identity and whether you fit in as one thing or another is something that we all think about, and something that’s definitely been a preoccupation of mine. I’m from Newcastle and went to Cambridge University and I worried whether I’d fit in; I’m mixed race, so my mum grew up in Nigeria and my dad grew up in England, and I’d sometimes wonder which culture I felt I identified with better. That whole thing of being young and working out which group of people you identify with and what things you have in common is very relatable to everyone and you see that play out in the new series as well.
What are the contestants like?
There are loads of great characters right from the start and coming through throughout the series. You have people who wouldn’t necessarily see on other shows. They all come from different walks of life – there’s somebody who grew up in Chelsea and someone who grew up on a housing estate in Manchester; Somebody who works as Prince Charming at Disneyland and somebody else who works in a charity shop. But nobody is defined by where they come from; they all learn about each other on their own terms. And because the tribes grow as the series goes on, you get a chance to learn more about their traits and how becoming a tribe moulds them as individuals.
How do you think you would get on as a castaway?
I like to think that I’d be quite practical. My mum’s from a very rural village in Nigeria, she grew up in a war, and for her it was really important that my brothers and I knew how to fend for ourselves. My dad bought me a Swiss army knife for my 13th birthday and we used to go camping and he showed me how to light fires. I climbed Kilimanjaro when I was 18. This said, my friends and brothers would probably say, although I just like to get stuck in and mean well, I’m quite clumsy and often more of a hindrance than a help. I would light a fire, but it may spread!
How do you think it differs from other reality shows?
Shipwrecked was the OG reality series, before Big Brother, before The Island, before Love Island, this one started it all, so it definitely feels special in that way. I think because the aim of the game isn’t falling in love, the characters that come through and the conversations they have are very different to what you may see on similar shows. I won’t go into too much detail, but there’s a really moving conversation that happens between some of them where they talk about bereavement and I shed a tear watching it. Also the fact that they aren’t being whittled down means we get to learn more about them as the series goes along.
You mention that it’s quite competitive. How does that affect the tribes?
As the series goes on, they become more tribal. The Sharks become SHARKS and the Tigers become TIGERS. They get very competitive to the point that some of them are using techniques to try and sabotage the rival island’s chances. Because they have this fire in their belly and a shared goal to win, both islands become really strong units. The bonds the castaways form and the ups and downs of their friendships is really touching to watch. But as well as being an amazing experience, they always have to keep in mind that it’s a game. Anything can happen. There are lots of twists and lots of turns. Loyalties will be tested and nobody’s place is safe on either island.
What’s your process when it comes to narrating the show?
I have a routine now. I get sent an advanced version of the episode and I run myself a big bath with a glass of red wine. I have my laptop on my laundry basket in the bathroom and watch the whole episode fully to get a sense of where their emotions are and what the big stories are, and I watch it without making any notes. Then the second time I watch it, I watch it through part by part to write my script around it. Then I’m in the booth and recording. But I’ve really looked forward to my Shipwrecked bath and wine time every week!
This is your next big TV project after doing Strictly Come Dancing. What was it like competing on such a huge entertainment show?
It’s incredible to be on a show that’s so loved by so many people. It was such a huge privilege to be asked, because until then the TV stuff I’d done had mainly been on youth programmes and specialist music programmes. To be on the biggest TV show was mad. For me the best part was getting messages from little girls and their mums saying that they were enjoying watching me dance. It was so touching to have that connection with that audience. But also, as a presenter, it was a real honour to be able to work with Tess and Claudia and all the team backstage who are just the best in the business and watch what they do.
Are you still dancing?
I always dance! As soon as the mics are down in the studio on Capital Breakfast, I’m dancing around to Little Mix.
What would your luxury item be?
I would want to take a camera, just to be able to collect my own memories. I know it’s obviously all being filmed, but to be able to save your own mementos of being there would be special.
Shipwrecked starts tonight (28/01) and continues weeknights at 9pm on E4