Mike Fletcher takes part in The Island with Bear Grylls reality TV show

Castaway thrill-seeker tells of his island quest for food

Mike Fletcher, who took part in The Island with Bear Grylls reality TV show, pictured at home on the outskirts of York

Mike Fletcher in The Island with Bear Grylls

First published in News
Last updated

York adventurer Mike Fletcher has been reunited with his family after spending a month as castaway on an uninhabited Pacific island for a TV reality programme.

Mike, whose family runs a business on the outskirts of York, was one of 13 British blokes stranded for survival show Bear Grylls.

The 37-year-old action man is a self-confessed thrill-seeker with a passion for extreme sports such as para-motoring (flying with a large kite and propeller).

The five-week show was recorded in February. Mike is now back home at the family farmhouse with his fiancée Bec and baby son Freddie, aged ten-and-half-months.

He said: "It was an awful lot harder than I thought it was going to be. The biggest thing was hunger.

“When you go for so long with so little to eat it has a massive effect on your body and your mind. All I did was crave food.”

The programme-makers for Channel 4 specifically wanted someone from an angling background as one of the castaways.

Mr continued: “A good friend of mine is a chairman of the Professional Anglers’ Association and dared me to do it.”

After passing the audition, Mike was whisked away for 28 days on one of the Pearl Islands, off the coast of Panama.

They were dumped in the middle of a mosquito-infested mangrove swamp and the first thing they saw after getting off the boat was a hungry crocodile.

They were then abandoned with a bag containing three machetes and three knives, a day’s drinking water and the clothes they stood up in.

For the first few days, he survived on snails and limpets and says he will never order Escargot in a restaurant again.

But the hardest thing was being separated from his young family. He was not allowed to contact them and they were kept in complete isolation.

They made daily communication with the mainland to check they were all right and whether anyone wanted to drop out.

Mike is not allowed to give away any spoilers so viewers will have to watch the drama unfold over the next five weeks to see who stuck it out to the end.

“It was not a competition. It was a social experiment to see if modern man had retained his hunter-gatherer instincts,” he added.



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