Ben Fogle visits uninhabited island that 40,000 people applied to live on

Thousands 'romanticised' uninhabited island as they applied to become caretakers

Ben Fogle visits Dan and Emily – the caretakers of Great Blasket Island
Ben Fogle visits Dan and Emily – the caretakers of Great Blasket Island. (Channel 5)

What did you miss?

As many as 40,000 people applied to go and work as caretakers on an uninhabited island that featured on Ben Fogle: New Lives in the Wild.

Adventurer Ben Fogle packed his bags and headed for the picturesque but very secluded Great Blasket Island, off the coast of Ireland to meet nurse Emily Campbell, 28, and engineer Daniel Regan, 30, who totally changed their lives.

It comes to light in the new episode that the couple, who had previously been immersed in city life in London, were hand-picked from an astonishing 40,000 applicants to live for six months on the remote island which has only three working cottages.

What, how and why?

Ben Fogle New Lives In The Wild ep2Ben with Emily and Daniel on Great Blasket Island. (Channel 5)
Emily and Daniel have been living and working on Great Blasket Island. (Channel 5)

During Fogle's stay, they got a visit from Billy O'Connor who, with his family, owns the three working cottages on the remote island. He joked his job list included being the rubbish man, laundry man, taking phone calls and driving the boat with supplies for the couple.

The owner shared his delight at having the couple work on the island saying they were "insanely overqualified" for the roles. He further explained: "Yeah well they applied to the job, they were insanely overqualified and lovely on the phone and they were really interested. They were really interesting people. And they've been brilliant."

In his typical style, Fogle pressed the owner to find out how many people had applied for the job. Surprisingly, O'Connor revealed as many as about 40,000 had applied for the caretaker job but he said many of those people had "romanticised" it in their minds.

Emily and Daniel have become stars on Ben Fogle's New Lives in the Wild. (Channel 5)
Emily and Daniel have become stars on Ben Fogle's New Lives in the Wild. (Channel 5)

He said: "Oh I'm not too sure, I think we got 40,000 emails or plus one year. It was insane. It kind of went viral. I think a lot of people romanticised it and didn't really realise what they were getting into. Emily will fill you in, they realised what they were getting into. That was kind of it."

The engineer, who previously lived in London, admitted the couple thought they had originally lost out on the job. He shared their reaction to finding out the news. "We thought we were unsuccessful because we had a week go by after the interview.

"We were just about to do some tiling, we got an interview thought it would be the rejection interview. We got a very casual 'we would love to have you if you are still interested' and we had to read it twice. We jumped out of bed,"

Shortly after the news, the couple realised they had to get ready for the six months adventure. The nurse said: "Then the reality set in that we had six weeks to finish the flat and get over here." Her partner admitted they had some "long days" but they "got through it".

What else happened on Ben Fogle: New Lives in the Wild?

While the job posting was only for six months, the couple revealed they had loved their adventure and planned to live off grid in the future. They have set their hearts on buying a plot of land where they can live off the land, grow their own food and they hoped Fogle would come visit them when they find their next home in the wild.

Fogle had promoted the episode on his Instagram with a beautiful photograph of the island. He wrote: "New Lives in the Wild is the story of the couple who beat 40,000 applicants to become caretakers of one of the most beautiful islands in Ireland, Great Blasket Island."

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