Fans of reality show Shipwrecked have widely slammed the new series for being a toned-down version of the gritty original.
And now original Shipwreck star Joe Stone has joined the critics, admitting he can’t believe how much help the current castaways are receiving from producers.
Joe, who was a 19-year-old student when he appeared in the 2007 series Battle Of The Islands on T4, said he and his co-stars experienced tough living conditions for five months.
The original castaways had to make their own shelter from scratch and build a long-drop toilet, while the new series’ cast have arrived on the island to find camp already waiting for them.
The 2019 cast of Shipwrecked
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Writing in The Guardian , Joe said the original show was a "prototype Love Island as imagined by Bear Grylls, in which the young cast went to war with the elements while getting off with each other".
Living on an uninhabited island in the Cook Islands, Joe and his campmates survived on meagre rations and suffered from constant mosquito bites and illnesses.
He also admitted the worst moments – when the castaways put up with frequent heavy downpours – weren’t even shown after producers claimed rain doesn’t look good on television.
Joe was 19-year-old student when he spent five months living on a desert island
(Image: Channel 4)
Joe believes the success of Love Island on ITV2 had prompted producers to "focus on fighting and flirting" rather than the realities of living with the elements.
The 2019 series, which kicked off on Monday, features the castaways arriving to find a water-tight hut, instead of Joe’s "flooded, dirt-floored shack".
The current stars also have a covered toilet, compared to an "open-air, urine-soaked wooden box" longdrop covered in maggots.
Their experience will only last seven weeks, compared to the original show’s five months.
Joe Stone (far left) on the 2007 series of Shipwrecked: Battle Of The Islands
(Image: Channel 4)
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He wrote: "I learned the hard way that you never feel sexy while suffering from ‘crotch rot’ (an affliction several of us developed from dressing exclusively in wet swimming costumes for months on end).
"The current format has also reduced the time that contestants are shipwrecked from five months to seven weeks, and has allowed luxuries like moisturiser and mosquito nets, whereas we made sport of counting our infected bites and were instructed to wash with – I wish I was joking – sand."
Joe admitted he is "jealous" that the new cast will "live in paradise" compared to the original premise of the show and not to have put up with exhaustion and diseases.
He added: "Our version of the show was very character-forming… The new recruits may luxuriate in conditions we could only have dreamed of, but maybe they have been robbed of our more authentic experience."
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