Come clean on Eden show, says coun­cil­lor

The Oban Times - - News -

A COUN­CIL­LOR says the mak­ers of a TV pro­gramme which caused pub­lic ac­cess to Ard­na­mur­chan to be re­stricted have to be more hon­est.

Last May, 23 vol­un­teers aged 24 to 55 en­tered Eden, a 600-acre ‘ vil­lage’ or film set near Ard­toe which of­fered the chance to ‘start again’.

Cut off from mod­ern so­ci­ety, the show re­quired them to live off the land for a year.

Pro­duced by Lon­don-based KEO films, the re­al­ity TV group was pro­tected by an ap­pli­ca­tion sub­mit­ted in 2015 to re­move pub­lic right of ac­cess in Ard­na­mur­chan Es­tate.

Eden was first aired on July 18 on Chan­nel 4 and at­tracted 1.8 mil­lion view­ers but the show failed to gather mo­men­tum and dis­ap­peared from the air­waves af­ter only a hand­ful of episodes. In Oc­to­ber, Chan­nel 4 as­sured the pub­lic the ex­per­i­ment was still un­der way and that the shows were to be re­leased.

An ex­ten­sion to the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion was sought and granted ear­lier this year, as re­ported by the Lochaber

Times but now, it seems, all the con­trib­u­tors have left.

The Lochaber Times con­tacted KEO for com­ment on how the show was pro­gress­ing, whether it felt it was a suc­cess, and if there was likely to be any in­sight on how the con­trib­u­tors had dealt with their ex­pe­ri­ences be­fore they left.

A spokesper­son said: ‘ The par­tic­i­pants left Eden af­ter a year as was al­ways the plan. The story of their time in Eden will be broad­cast on C4 later this year.’

Coun­cil­lor Brian Mur­phy said the mak­ers should be more hon­est with their in­ten­tions. He added: ‘I have never seen a restriction be­ing asked for or al­lowed in all my years as a coun­cil­lor. It is quite a sig­nif­i­cant thing - the moun­tain bike event in Ne­vis Range is one of the big­gest events and ac­cess is only re­stricted for three days. So if they do not want to con­tinue the pro­ject, they re­ally need to make it be known.’

The High­land Coun­cil con­firmed an ac­cess ex­emp­tion is in place un­til March 21 2018.

A spokesper­son said: ‘If the pur­pose for which the or­der is made, to film a TV series, is no longer in­tended then the coun­cil would seek to re­voke the or­der. Site no­tices ad­vis­ing of the ex­emp­tion will be taken down and non-ve­hic­u­lar ac­cess would be re­sumed.’

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