CATCH US IF YOU CAN

From he­li­copters, to cham­pagne, a celebrity edi­tion of Hunted – where con­tes­tants try to out­wit a team of spe­cial­ist track­ers – cer­tainly lives up to its name

Daily Mail Weekend Magazine - - YOUR TV WEEK -

When or­di­nary peo­ple go un­der­ground for Chan­nel 4’s re­al­ity show Hunted – in which they must try to evade cap­ture by a group of for­mer po­lice and mil­i­tary ex­perts – they sleep in tents, go hun­gry and beg, steal or bor­row to stay in the game. In the celebrity ver­sion of the pro­gramme, which starts this week and will raise funds for Stand Up To Cancer, there’s lash­ings of cham­pagne, he­li­copters and speed­boats… plus an army of fans will­ing to help keep the seven brave par­tic­i­pat­ing stars on the run.

Just like po­lice search­ing for real fugi­tives, the hunters use ev­ery re­source avail­able to them, in­clud­ing CCTV footage, bank ac­count de­tails and phone records. They in­ter­cept phone calls, search homes and grill the friends and fam­ily of those on the run. They even have use of a he­li­copter.

The dif­fer­ent tac­tics used by the celebri­ties as they start their ad­ven­ture in Lon­don cause some hi­lar­ity. When An­neka Rice, pre­sen­ter of Trea­sure Hunt – a sort of fore­run­ner of this show – straps on a ruck­sack and runs it feels like it’s 1982 again. For­mer boy­band star and Strictly win­ner Jay McGuiness and his band­mate from The Wanted Siva Kaneswaran get their for­mer man­ager to drive them to Scot­land, while Made In Chelsea’s play­boys Spencer Matthews and Jamie Laing fly to the Isle of Wight in a chop­per be­fore whizzing off in a speed­boat.

Gog­gle­box’s posh hote­liers Steph and Dom Parker are more leisurely, walk­ing to meet a friend in a Rolls-Royce be­fore go­ing to stay in a fancy B&B out­side Lon­don where they drink pink cham­pagne in a swim­ming pool. ‘The plan was to do it com­fort­ably,’ says Dom. ‘We weren’t go­ing to be rum­mag­ing around in hedges and walk­ing.’ Steph agrees. ‘Ev­ery­one else ran like there’d been a bomb blast but I thought, “B****r that, I’m not get­ting all sweaty.”’

As the daugh­ter of a mil­i­tary man and some­one who worked as a PA to Bri­tain’s top man in NATO, Steph hoped she’d have the edge on the other stars. But her mil­i­tary and diplo­matic friends re­fused to have any­thing to do with the show. ‘We had a clever plan with friends who were in the mil­i­tary and peo­ple who had diplo­matic cars, but they had to pull out be­cause the hunters are so in­tru­sive they’d have been ex­pos­ing se­crets,’ she says. ‘So we had to de­pend on lay peo­ple who were pre­pared to have their phones and bank ac­counts looked at.’

An­neka Rice, who stepped back from her show­biz ca­reer in the 90s, was de­ter­mined to bam­boo­zle the hunters from the

SPENCER MATTHEWS

Along with Made In Chelsea costar Jamie Laing, he’s de­ter­mined to make a Bond­like es­cape but the hunters are soon on his trail.

JAY McGUINESS

With his for­mer The Wanted band­mate Siva Kaneswaran, he can rely on an army of fans to help con­fuse the pack of track­ers.

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