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Ruby Wax Cast Away | Preview (Channel 5)

Comedian Ruby Wax has been battling with depression for over 25 years. Now she’s putting her own mind through the ultimate test: she’ll be marooned on an isolated Madagascan Island for ten days, pitting her wits against the uncompromising force of Mother Nature on a true desert island with only herself and her cameras to talk to.

It’ll be tough, solitary and unforgiving, but it will also be a chance to confront her fears and, she hopes, raise the public discussion about mental health. Filmed across two episodes, Ruby will experience life alone as a true castaway as she documents her experience using her own handheld camera, isolated sound pack and wearable body-cams.

Her kids and husband Ed give their advice in London before she leaves, and original island TV survival poster girl and close personal friend Joanna Lumley adds her tips for survival, before Ruby is completely isolated on the island, where we’ll get inside her mind 24 hours a day as the experience plays out. One woman. Ten days. The ultimate survival experience.

Ruby Wax Cast Away will be an epic study of solitude and mental fortitude - where Ruby’s biggest challenge will be her own mind. In episode one, having assumed the experience would be more a mental journey of a mind in isolation, Ruby’s horrified to learn that she must tackle the island's hostile environment single-handed.

Ruby must build her own camp, collect her own food and water, and pit herself against blazing sunshine and vicious rainstorms. Landing on Ankerea – a totally uninhabited island covered in dense jungle – Ruby quickly realises that she is out of her depth. With only a day of instruction from cheery survival expert Kevin Newton, she’s suddenly totally alone.

As she says, “Call my agent – now!” At constant conflict between reaping the rewards of an experience entwined with nature (like witnessing a mother Green Turtle laying a clutch of eggs in the sand) and hating the physicality of menial tasks critical to her survival (like eating rock oysters and hiking into the jungle to collect drinking water), Ruby learns the delicate balance of island survival.

And as the days pass Ruby is left to navigate her new island home alone, attempting to catch a crab for supper and scavenging mangoes. But the onset of a tropical cyclone sends Ruby into turmoil, and the dark clouds enveloping the island cause her to confront jagged thoughts of depression and fear.

Faced with days without any meaningful food, Ruby feels near to cracking under the pressure of trying to create fire in her sodden campsite. But there are still days to go…

Ruby Wax Cast Away begins Sunday 23rd April at 9pm on Channel 5.


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