The Island with Bear Grylls: “I wish I had stuck it out.” - Joe

Joe Silver

Joe Silver

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A Harrogate graphic designer who swapped the Stray for the swamps of a tropical island with Bear Grylls made his dramatic exit from a reality TV show tonight.

Joe Silver, 22, was one of just 28 people selected out of 80,000 hopefuls to take part in Channel Four’s Bear Grylls The Island.

He, along with 13 other men were sent to an uninhibited island in the Pacific Ocean, and set the challenge to survive for six weeks.

The former King James’s School pupil struggled with the tough nature of the show which saw contestants battle the relentless elements, crippling hunger and extreme exhaustion.

The first episode saw Joe, who signed up to test himself, struggle to cope without his family and girlfriend, and margherita pizza. By the end of episode two the 22-year-old decided to pack his bags and leave the tropical island.

He said: “I just missed my family and friends too much and at the time, the reward of finishing the show just didn’t seem to outweigh the cost of what I was going to have to give to make it to the end. It was without doubt the most challenging thing I’ve done and maybe will ever do.

It was without doubt the most challenging thing I’ve done and maybe will ever do.

Joe Silver, 22

“Looking back, I think being the youngest on the show and not being in a situation like that before lead to me leaving and I do now wish I had stuck it out and stayed. I did feel I’d let the team down a bit when I got back which I regret but, I feel proud to have even been selected out of the 80,000 people that applied. I did enjoy my time there though and the guys are a great bunch.”

The wannabe explorer had been looking for excitement when he signed up. He said: “I signed up for some excitement and to get away from everyday routine of daily life. I also wanted to test myself and see what I’m all about. I’m only 22 so I feel like I’m still finding out who I am.”

Joe is now settled at home in Knaresborough where he lives with his girlfriend but said he learnt a lot from his trip.

“That kind of experience does make you appreciate what’s important in life and that’s really your family and friends.

“We take so much for granted these days and when you’re in the situation of having to look for your own food every day, make a bed, even make a fire to boil water to drink, it really does hit home how lucky we are.”