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Channel 4 series The Bridge kicked off a couple of weeks ago, bringing with it plenty of reality TV drama against the backdrop of a survivalist challenge and the promise of a huge cash prize. The show features 12 strangers, who are tasked with building a large wooden bridge in the space of 20 days to help them cross to an island and claim £100,000. However, there are many twists and turns along the way as well as bitter in-fighting which could see them losing the lot if they don’t work together.
Express.co.uk spoke exclusively to two of the stars of The Bridge Tara and Rowan about their experiences on the show.
The series was filmed between August and September this year with the contestants required to self-isolate to ensure they were COVID-19-free before they were allowed to take part.
Once the group made it to their rustic cabins in rural Wales, they found themselves very much having to survive and make the most of the resources they had.
Recent graduate Rowan said: “You had zero contact with the outside world. Absolutely nothing.
“This was your new world. Like anything you left behind was well and truly left behind. You didn’t’ get any update.
“Once you started that process, you were well and truly in it and that was your day for the rest of the situation.”
He went on to reveal: “We actually had to surrender our phones a week before we started filming as well just because of the whole isolation period because they were very good on coronavirus protection and stuff like that. The way you make a TV show now is completely different.
“But leaving the outside world, especially the horrible, horrible news cycle and waking up everyday and another miserable story and nothing has got better and the world is still on first – you know what, it was actually kind of nice to leave that behind.”
Tara, who was a coronavirus survivor after and ended up in intensive care earlier this year for nine days, echoed Rowan’s sentiments.
She also revealed as The Bridge was a new show, none of the contestants really knew what they were facing.
Tara said: “The working title was The Wilderness, so we had an idea we were going into tough conditions, but we weren’t aware we were going to have build the bridge in those tough conditions. I didn’t really know what to expect.”
She said her own comparison or point of reference was I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! and envisioned doing “little tasks” each day.
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The contestant explained her experiences on The Bridge had changed her after she was initially daunted when she arrived.
“From the moment I arrived, I realised how hard it was going to be for me. I hate being cold, I hate being wet and I hate being hungry.
“I did find it really, really hard but one of the things I’ve learnt is that I am a fighter and I’m quite resilient and I keep going.
“When your chips are down, you have a choice, you either give up or you push on through and I think I learnt that about myself.”
Since The Bridge ended, Rowan said he was trying to “find his feet in the world” and get a job, saying there was a struggle for him to get his foot in the door due to the global pandemic.
Rowan admitted he wished he hadn’t come back because coronavirus was “still kicking around” and nothing had really changed, preferring the world he was living in on the TV show.
He joked, saying he would happily go back for season two of The Bridge “right now” if he had the chance.
Meanwhile, Tara said she was glad to be back home with her family albeit returning to a world still facing coronavirus.
She said: “The thing that I found most jarring about coming out of this experience and the beautiful surroundings of where we were, I’ve come back to real life and things have gone the opposite way.”
The Bridge continues on Channel 4 tonight at 9pm
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