Live on Sunday night’s final episode of Castaway on BBC One, Scotsman Jonathan Shearer was voted the ultimate Castaway by viewers of the series.

He receives a month long, tailor-made trip around New Zealand for himself and a companion.

For the last two weeks of the series, viewers have been able to vote for which Castaway they felt had made the most of the experience.

Those with the fewest votes were Cast Off leaving just four – Francie, Little Al, Jonathan, Catherine – in the final show.

In the last moments, it came down to just Jonathan and Francie but the Scotsman pipped her to the post in the end.

From the outset of the series, Jonathan was a controversial character; he seemed to revel in causing disruption and discord. He always spoke his mind, disagreed with others regularly and generally provoked his fellow castaways.

Eventually he was booted out of the communal sleeping hut, literally Cast Out, so moved into the potting shed and created his own little home, resulting in much more harmony for both himself and the others!

Although argumentative, Jon also had a much kinder side. At times he gave away some of his own food rations and lent warm clothing for the treacherous fishing trips.

By the end, most of the group had a real fondness for him but, for one or two, he pushed them too far and forgiveness is not likely.

He has a one-year-old son back in Scotland whom he only met for the first time just three weeks before leaving for Castaway.

During his 12 weeks on the island, though, Jon finally, as he says, “learnt how to be a father”, which is perhaps why most viewers voted him as “the person who had made the most of the Castaway experience”.

Commenting on the how he feels about taking part, Jon told presenter Danny Wallace: “I want to live like this forever, I want to be self-sufficient… although not with 14 people crowding around me, shouting at me, hounding me out of my sleeping hut!”

When asked about what he expects once he gets home he replied, smiling: “I almost feel like I’m going to be Cast-away again. There’s another adventure, but this time not just for three months, for the rest of my life with my son.”

Castaway started as a social experiment to take a group of strangers far away from their everyday lives.

They found themselves halfway across the world in a location on a small island off New Zealand with just basic wooden huts to live and sleep in and a diet based on war-time rations, plus whatever the land and sea could provide to feed them.

Over the ensuing 12 weeks their emotions have been as turbulent as the changeable weather and now they’ve all come to the end of their time in this idyll and this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

They’re leaner and fitter and, whether young or old, have all had time and space to think, adjust, discover more about themselves – and others – learn new skills (from fishing to milking to building) and think about what’s really important to them.

And in their final days on the island, the remaining Castaways made capsules containing the objects they felt would give them a chance in the future to reflect on their stay.

The other Castaways

Francie Smee was one of the two “mothers” of the group. Totally deaf without her hearing aids, she got on with whatever job needed doing and was the green-fingered queen of the vegetable patch! She offered a caring ear in times of need, but wasn’t afraid to voice her disappointment if anyone let the group down in some way. During the series, this divorced mother-of-three decided she’s ready for love again so who knows what the future may hold for her?

Little Al (Alasdair Humberston), the youngest of the group at 19, was loved by all his fellow castaways – no-one was more popular with the others. Initially claiming to be a self-confessed ladies’ man, through the series he consistently showed a maturity beyond his years and showed understanding and lent a listening ear to Jonathan when he had been banished by the others. He was supportive to others less able to meet the physical challenges than himself and gallantly offered to trade his phone number in return for vital supplies, implying that it would be the most valuable commodity on the island. Little Al and Big Al formed, by their own admittance, an unlikely friendship and could often be found hooting with laughter together.

Catherine Ball was a formidable figure when she arrived on the island. Discovered by Jason on his trip to Banishment beach she was quick to step in to boost the food supplies and was the first to provide a fish for the dinner table. In the early days her continual talking meant she was seen as rather overbearing and the others avoided her. However, a different side to Cathy came to the fore when she used her skills as a lifeguard to help Clare Hilley who got into difficulties swimming in the sea. The Castaway experience appears to have chilled her out and she even grew so close to Jonathan they went on a date and shared a rather chaste kiss.

Wendie Mitchell was the other “mother” of the group and was Cast Off in the penultimate episode last Thursday… Just as at home, the kitchen was Wendie’s domain. She’s been a devoted mum to four daughters and carer to her mother, but this experience was finally a chance to do something for herself. During her time on Castaway she’s had a ball, plus she faced her fear of water by getting into the fishing dinghy and launching into the high waves off the shore. In London, her daughters have marvelled at her weight loss and great new figure. Once she returns, will she decide to put herself first a little more often?

Big Al (Alister Cooling) and Catrin Lye were Cast Off last Tuesday… Big Al is a sci-fi fan writer and at the start was a 22-stone, self-confessed couch potato. Now he’s almost five stone lighter and a lot fitter after all the swimming and trekking island life required, and is determined that this fitter, healthier life will continue back in the UK. He is planning a move to London to start a new life.

Catrin was voted in by BBC Radio 1 listeners during the Cast Me competition and had the potentially difficult task of joining the group half-way through the series. But this cheerful Welsh lass got stuck in straight away and the others accepted her and liked her immediately.

Ken Rose and Joe Chicken made the final week before being Cast Off last Sunday… Naked sun-bather Joe was very easy-going and got along well with everyone, particularly Catrin whom he had a real soft spot for. Part of the way through, though, he did move into the Look Out deciding he needed to create his own “space” away from the communal sleeping hut.

Ken, who at 64 was the oldest, is an ex-Marine who kept himself busy every day by rising early and doing various jobs around camp, from chopping wood to keeping the huts watertight and weatherproof. Ken was a much liked and respected member of the community but certainly wasn’t a fan of Jonathan’s argumentative ways and regularly told him so.

Erica Hurst, Gemma Zinyama and Hassan Kobeissi were Cast Off during the week before… Erica got married just three weeks before the series started and so missed out on her honeymoon! The former lap-dancer was nicknamed the Pocket Rocket by the others as she just got stuck in with all the jobs around camp. She now feels she could achieve anything after this experience but in the meantime she’s over the moon to be reunited with her hubbie.

Fun-loving Gemma said she’d had a sheltered life when she arrived on the island and wanted to take part in the experience to meet different kinds of people from other backgrounds. She feels she’s succeeded in this, not least because Erica enlightened her on the finer points of performing a lapdance. Gemma could be very amusing with her comments but since being Cast Off has explained that the reason she mistook Daisy the cow for a horse was that she had “just woken up”!

Hassan caused disruption on his first day there when, having tried to make a small adjustment to their wooden water tower, it sprung several leaks and all the water inside was lost. He proved to be rather argumentative but gained respect from the rest when he managed single- handedly to carry his whole bodyweight in food back from a “mission”, providing much-needed provisions for the Castaways.

Clare Hilley and Jason Ross were Cast Off by the Castaways themselves earlier in the series… Jason was Cast Off just a couple weeks into the series when the others selected him as the person who’d been making the least of the experience so far. He had been urging the others to pick him, though, and even voted for himself as he was keen to get home and find out if his girlfriend had accepted the proposal of marriage he’d offered her on screen… her answer was yes!

A few weeks later, would-be Tory MP Clare Hilley had the same fate when the group were asked again who wasn’t making the most of the experience. Like Jason, she too selected herself as she simply felt that, unlike the others, she didn’t really have a proper role in camp.

London girl Lucinda King was Cast Out permanently by her fellow Castaways when she was caught stealing a packet of crisps from the film crew. They were faced with either a group punishment or to boot her out. No-one wanted to suffer for her “crimes” so she had to face the music and leave. She understood their decision, but made it clear her actions were totally out of character and motivated purely by her hunger.

Four people have been short-listed for Cast Me, the competition offering one member of the public the chance to join Castaway in New Zealand.

Viewers can now vote for which person they think should join the other castaways by simply visiting to check out the contenders’ profiles and make their choice.

Plus, in his own cheeky way, Scott Mills on BBC Radio 1 is supporting Cast Me when he sits in for Chris Moyles on the Breakfast Show this week. See for updates on his antics…

The results of the viewer vote will be revealed by Richard Bacon in Castaway Exposed (Sunday 22 April, 7.30pm on BBC Three). The winner will then have just a few days to pack and prepare as they will join the other castaways – who have no idea there will be a new arrival – on Sunday 29 April.

Castaway presenter, Danny Wallace, gives his thoughts on the qualities required by the new arrival: “Whoever the public chooses will have to have a bullet-proof personality but one that is capable of adapting – not just to island life, but to life with a pretty tired, pretty hungry and pretty stinky group of strangers.

“They’ll have to be able to live without hair straighteners, lip gloss, and lattes, and expect to share a wooden floor with the elements, the rats, and quite a scary Scotsman!”

The four contenders are:

Alex, a supermarket worker aged 23 from Cornwall:

Alex feels lost at the moment. He hates his job in a supermarket but can’t decide what he wants to do. Despite having a new bright idea every week he rarely follows these through.

On his hopes for joining Castaway, he says: “I would hopefully like to gain some life experience. I feel like since school I have had a path laid out for me, now that it’s my turn to choose what I should do I am absolutely clueless. I hope that this trip would help me get some focus with what I am going to do with my life.”

Catrin, a psychology student aged 20 from Cardiff:

Catrin thinks that living in close quarters with the other castaways will be the most challenging part of the experience, but she wants to get onto the island to tell the other to stop being drips and get on with it!

On why she wants to join Castaway, she said: “This experience would take me out of my usual environment; put me in something completely out of the ordinary. I’m a normal Welsh girl ready to represent Wales and show we’re not all weird, stupid and blonde!”

Lawrence, a retail manager aged 21 from Surrey:

Lawrence believes he is destined to take part in Castaway because when he heard Cast Me on the radio he was overwhelmed by a feeling that he had to do it.

On signing up for Cast Me, he says: “I’m a big believer in omens and felt that this was just too good an opportunity to miss out on and my senses where picking up on something! I just feel I have to do it and know it will become obvious when I’m there as to why I’m there!”

Robina, a trainer for a charity aged 22 from Shropshire:

Describing herself as single and desperate she’s had enough of the Shewsbury dating scene and is keen to get away.

On Castaway, she comments: “I would totally love the whole experience whether it was good or bad.”

Castaway is on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays on BBC One at 7pm and on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on BBC Three.

Castaway Exposed is on BBC Three at 7.30pm every Sunday.

Jason is Cast-off from the Castaway Shores

Jason became the first Castaway to be cast-off permanently by his fellow islanders on last night’s show on BBC One.

Last week presenter Danny Wallace told the group that they would have to decide which one of them has not been making the most of the Castaway experience. That person would have to leave the following week.

Debate about who it should be engulfed the group.

Many wanted Jonathan to go due his domineering manner. This Scottish chap is a hard worker, but he can be rather controversial and provocative with his comments and likes to purposely stir things up amongst them.

Jason, from Dover, kept urging his fellow Castaways to select him as he felt he was ready to go.

Earlier in the series, Danny had posed the same question to them and they’d decided it was Jason who wasn’t making the most of the experience.

He was then banished to Isolation Beach for several days alone to mull things over. It was something he found very difficult to cope with.

Yesterday the Castaways were summoned to the beach where Danny revealed to them the results of their votes which were given in secret earlier in the day.

Initially, the votes were evenly split between both Jonathan and Jason, until Jason actually voted for himself.

Allister felt he simply couldn’t decide so abstained. Unbeknownst to her, Lucinda then had the deciding vote. She first chose Jonathan then in an immediate change of heart decided that in fact he deserved to stay.

So, in the end Jason lost by seven votes to Jonathan’s six. If he hadn’t voted for himself, Jason would have stayed.

Mulling the result he said: “I’m still getting over it but I’m happy.”

He continued:”I did want to leave initially, then I gave up the campaign.”

Jonathan, on the other hand, looked relieved to be staying, even though he’d packed a Dick Whittington-style knapsack on a branch in readiness for his name being called.

Jason will now be taken on a whirlwind tour of New Zealand for several days and will not be able to speak to his friends and family until he is reunited with them for the first time in five weeks on Castaway Exposed, presented by Richard Bacon on Sunday 1 April on BBC Three at 10pm.

Before the rest of them returned to camp, Danny revealed that there would be a new addition to the group.

He suggested they “make the most of it”, leading some to believe that perhaps it wouldn’t be another person but an animal of some sort…

For more on the castaways and the series, please visit

13 British castaways have arrived on their “shipwrecked” island in New Zealand and begun the long 12 week rush to build shelter, gather food, and start surviving. The BBC Reality tv show this time around includes a lap dancer, a young conservative, a former drug addict, and a professional psychic.

This episode is the newest adventure of a popular reality tv series that started off with scandal as contestants spent a full year on an island in the Hebrides. This New Zealand edition is not without its own scandals already, as Government run conservation land is being “sold” to the British TV network for the purposes of filming and regular land-users, including walkers, daytrippers, fisherfolk, and locals have been told they will not have access to the area of the island being used as the set.

Apparently after 8 weeks a special contest will be run where a viewer will be able to win the opportunity to join the castaways on the island partway through their adventure.

Want to read more?? Click here!!

Seven years on from the original, Castaway returns with a new shape and new twists but the same underlying intentions: take a group of people as far away from their current lives as possible – geographically, psychologically and emotionally – to explore what’s really important to them and discover how they shape their community. The series is presented by Danny Wallace.

The people who have been chosen to be castaways in 2007 reflect many aspects of British life; they cover a variety of ages, backgrounds, skills and personalities.

But they all have something to offer and strong reasons for wanting to be a castaway.

Peter Fincham, Controller, BBC One, says: “I’m really excited that Castaway is coming back to BBC One. Castaway was the original reality show and the genre has evolved enormously since then.

“The new series of Castaway will be reflecting this evolution and will be a truly multi-channel, multi-platform event.

“However, the original purpose – to see how people react once they are taken far away from all that they take for granted – remains the same and I will be fascinated to see how our castaways get on.”

During this unique experience, the castaways will explore the best ways to live in close quarters with people with whom they may not initially seem to have much in common.

They will draw on personal skills – or discover new ones – to develop the infrastructure of their isolated location and, in the process, discover more about themselves as individuals.

Elaine Bedell, Commissioning Editor, says: “We’ve got a great mix of personalities and backgrounds from around the country. They each have their own reason for wanting to undertake this unique experience and we hope that they will all achieve some personal goal or discovery along the way.

“It’s a chance for us all to reflect on what is important to us once the daily commute, the school run and our hectic modern schedule are stripped away.”

An initial group of 13 castaways has arrived on the island: the group will have the opportunity to evolve throughout the 12 weeks of the project and one viewer will get the chance to join the group by entering the Cast Me competition.

Transmission details

Friday 9 March

Castaway launches on BBC One with a 60-minute special, presented by Danny Wallace. This is then followed by Castaway Exposed on BBC Three. Hosted by Richard Bacon and based in the UK, this show features reaction from the castaways’ families, along with expert opinions and comments from viewers.

Sunday 11 March

Castaway, BBC One, 9pm: the first of 12 weekly shows which airs at primetime every Sunday. Each BBC One programme is followed by Castaway Exposed on BBC Three at 10pm.

Monday 12 March

Castaway – The Last 24 Hours, BBC Three: running each night from Monday to Thursday for 12 weeks, this is an exclusive update presented by Danny Wallace, giving viewers an insight into what’s been happening on the island over the last 24 hours.

Red button: After every Castaway-related programme on BBC One and BBC Three, there will be a new episode of Danny’s Diary, available to digital viewers via the Red button.

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