Scots OAP crofter who has never set foot in England becomes star in new reality show

A crofter who has only ever left the Shetland Islands for the ­mainland is to become a reality TV star in a new fly-on-the-wall show.

Pearl Young, who has never been overseas, is one of the characters in the series about life on the stunning ­archipelago of islands.

The 75-year-old, who has chickens, goats and an array of crops to make her self-­sufficient, said: “As long as my feet are on Shetland that’s all that matters to me. I’ve never set foot on England and I don’t want to go abroad, I have no desire to leave.

“This is life for me, it’s hard work when you’re in cold, gales and snow but I just love it.”

Pearl, married to Willie for 50 years, comes from a long line of crofters who have lived off the land at Wester Skeld.

Shetland: Scotland’s Wondrous Isles will run on Channel 5 featuring both native Shetlanders and settlers on the islands, nicknamed “The Seychelles” due to their sandy white beaches.

Sally Reay and Jen Clark are the only inhabitants on Noss, along with 150,000 seabirds, and work as NatureScot wardens.

They live in an old crofter’s house with no mains gas, not enough water to run a washing machine, only solar panels for electricity and have to go to their mainland office for a shower.

Jen, originally from Paisley, said: ”Nothing beats Noss, it’s like The Seychelles here, it’s just gorgeous.”

Jan and Pete Bevington, run Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary on Shetland and look after the many seals who need help. Jan arrived on ­Shetland 50 years ago and Pete 30 years ago.

Pete said: “I came for two weeks and never left, I married a seal sanctuary and just loved the way of life. The seals are beautiful animals and to be able to have direct contact with them is special.”

The Channel 5 series, narrated by actor Mark Bonnar, who starred in the BBC’s drama series Shetland, will have continuity announcements for the show’s launch in the island dialect for the first time.

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