The Island 2017: Bear Grylls pits elders against youngsters as Channel 4 survival show returns

Ben Travis
Channel 4

You’d have to be a certain kind of person to sign up to The Island with Bear Grylls: adventurous, brave, and probably slightly mad.

Last year one contestant even plummeted off a cliff, but somehow managed to make it through relatively unscathed.

Channel 4’s survivalist reality show is no picnic – literally, as there’s no food to speak of. You have to hunt and kill and cook it yourself.

That’s one of the more controversial elements of the series, now entering its fourth year.

The elders (Channel 4)

Previous years have drawn criticisms over gender rivalries – the first series solely consisted of men, while the second series brought women too but pitched them up on a separate island.

There’s a new gimmick for Series 4. Genders are now mixed, but there’s still a division across two camps.

One team consists of people aged 18 – 30, while the elder team includes anyone 31 or above.

Will life experience win out in the battle to survive in a secluded environment? Or will the youngsters triumph with stamina and youth on their side?

Frankly, it looks like a nightmare no matter what age you are.

The youngsters (Channel 4)

The first instalment sees all contestants make their way to the titular landmass, before attempting to master the bare necessities: setting up camp, finding water, and making fire.

Can they handle the dangers of the natural world? Or, more pressingly, the bickering that always breaks out when nobody has eaten and there’s no sense of direction?

Four years in, The Island isn’t going to win over many of its detractors – but it’s still highly anticipated by Bear Grylls’ legion of fans.

Channel 4, 9pm, Sunday

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