Channel 5 has announced the ultimate survival experience in a new documentary commission, Ruby Wax Castaway (w/t).
The two-part (2 x 60’) series, follows Ruby Wax as she experiences life as a true castaway on a remote uninhabited island off the coast of Madagascar, documenting her entire experience using her own handheld camera and body-cams.
Produced by the award-winning Burning Bright Productions, Ruby Wax Castaway (w/t) sees the writer and comedian putting herself through the ultimate test in an extreme psychological and physical challenge. A respected mental health campaigner, Ruby has a particular interest in how modern urban life challenges us.
This island experience is a chance for Ruby to explore how solitude compares to the challenges of busy contemporary lives – as well as being a highly entertaining and insightful experience as Ruby survives totally alone in the wild.
Pitting her wits against the uncompromising force of Mother Nature, with only herself and a camera to talk to, Ruby’s everyday quest will be to source the four survival priorities - water, food, fire and shelter, as she documents her inner thoughts on her diary cam.
Executive Producer and Burning Bright’s founder Clive Tulloh, made the original ground-breaking survivor experience for television with Joanna Lumley in the hit film ‘Girl Friday’. Before heading to the island, Ruby will be meeting with Joanna, for some first-hand advice to help prepare for the island experience. Ruby will also leave with a letter from Joanna, not to be opened until she is on the island.
A camera crew will initially follow Ruby – as she is trained in a series of complex survival skills from an ex-Army survivalist specialist. The crew will capture Ruby’s initial reaction and preparations for her stay in unfiltered confessionals, with the aim to understand how she will function under pressure as the days and nights unfold. Then Ruby will be left alone to live in total isolation as she explores the island and reflects on the experience of solitude – exploring the ways in which isolation affects her, and how her mind operates under pressure.
The production team will be stationed offshore, in case of emergency, and Ruby’s mental health and safety will be monitored as the experience progresses.
Ruby Wax says: “If people are expecting Love Island, imagine how disappointed they're going to be … I like to do things that take me by surprise. I'm used to doing something a little hardcore. I know what it is in the beginning, it's hell but by the end you find out why you did it. That may happen ... or I may sue the production company”
Channel 5 and Paramount + Commissioning Editor, Guy Davies, says: “Castaway with Ruby Wax (w/t) is a survival programme with a different perspective – Ruby has been very public about her own mental health and this process is chance for her to explore in solitude the pressure we all live under. Knowing Ruby, it will also be both hilarious, insightful and raw. We’re very pleased to welcome Ruby to Channel 5 for this fascinating process”
Executive Producer and MD at Burning Bright Productions, Clive Tulloh, says: “I have been working with Ruby Wax on and off since 1989 I am thrilled to finally get the chance to abandon her on a desert island.”
Ruby Wax Castaway (w/t) is commissioned by Guy Davies for Channel 5, and executive produced by Clive Tulloh and Louise Quayle at Burning Bright Productions. The Producer-Director is Gareth Prescott.