Survivor Is Returning To UK Screens – Here’s What We Know So Far About The BBC Reboot

A batch of brave contestants will be marooned in the Dominican Republic and forced to fend for themselves as the reality show returns after 21 years.
Joel Dommett is the new host of Survivor
Joel Dommett is the new host of Survivor

After more than two decades off air, the UK edition of reality competition Survivor is finally making a comeback.

18 brave contestants will be marooned in a remote location, tasked with providing food, water and shelter for themselves. They’ll also have to take part in a series of tough challenges in order to win rewards for the camp, and contestants will be gradually voted out of the game by their fellow castaways. Brutal.

The last person standing will be crowned the show’s ‘sole survivor’ - and they’ll receive a £100,000 cash prize, too.

Although it previously only lasted for two seasons in the UK, which aired on ITV, the Survivor franchise has become a reality TV juggernaut around the world.

After making its debut in Sweden back in 1997, versions of the show have been produced in more than 25 countries. It’s especially popular in the United States, where 44 seasons of the show have aired so far.

Need a refresher on all things Survivor? Here’s what you should know about the upcoming BBC revival…

How does Survivor work?

Survivor is “the ultimate strategic and social game”, according to the BBC. 18 competitors will be dropped in the tropical island of the Dominican Republic, where they’ll be deprived of everyday comforts and forced to fend for themselves.

The players will have to find their own food, build shelters and form their own tribes, competing against each other in challenges that will bring them rewards or immunity from elimination.

That means they’ll be safe during the Tribal Council, the meeting which sees each tribe vote out one of their members.

Eventually, there’ll be one survivor left standing, who will receive the £100,000 cash prize.

Who will host the new show?

The Masked Singer’s Joel Dommett will be on hosting duties for the UK reboot. When the announcement was unveiled back in February this year, Joel shared an excited statement, telling fans: “I CAN’T BELIEVE IT! A huge thank you to the BBC for trusting me with this.”

“It’s such a hugely popular format all over the world and I’m super excited to help bring it to our sweet little country,” he continued. “Let the tribal councils BEGIN!”

Who will be taking part?

The cast of Survivor’s reboot consists of 18 people from across the UK, all whom will be heading towards the tropical island of the Dominican Republic.

The 2023 cast is as follows:

  • Ashleigh, 34; Brand Strategist from London
  • Christopher, 36; Singer/Songwriter from Bridgend
  • Doug, 32; Flood Risk Consultant from Isle of Mull
  • Hannah, 30; Footballer from London
  • Jess, 38; Fitting Model from London
  • Laurence, 29; Entrepreneur from London
  • Lee, 28; Boxer from Belfast
  • Leilani, 45; Barista from Hertford
  • Matthew, 21; Hospitality Worker from Cumbria
  • Nathan, 35; Fitness Instructor/ Operations Manager from Manchester
  • Pegleg, 54; Surf Instructor from St Agnes
  • Rach, 23; PT from Glasgow
  • Rachel, 40; Insurance Claim Handler from Whitstable
  • Ren, 28; Network Data Scientist from London
  • Richard, 36; Pensions Manager/ RAF Reservist from Dalkeith
  • Sabrina, 45; Charity Founder/ Author from Stroud
  • Shai, 33; Finance Risk Manager from London
  • Tinuke, 30; Professional Roller Skater from London

What happened to the ITV version?

Mark Austin hosted the first series of Survivor in 2001
Mark Austin hosted the first series of Survivor in 2001

Survivor UK debuted on ITV in May 2001 and was filmed at Pulau Tiga, a small volcanic island in Kimanis Bay off the western coast of Malaysia. The prize was £1 million, which was then the joint highest amount of money ever won on British television. At the end of the 40 day competition, police officer Charlotte Hobrough was crowned the Ultimate Survivor. The following year, the show was filmed in Panama, with Jonny Gibb eventually taking home the prize money.

The show’s ratings, however, didn’t match up to TV bosses’ expectations, and Survivor UK was cancelled soon after. It’s been off air since then, and a quick search shows that the show isn’t available to stream (legitimately) anywhere – nope, not even on BritBox.

In September 2022, the BBC confirmed that it would be bringing Survivor back to British screens.

“Survivor is a global television hit and to be able to bring one of TV’s most successful formats to audiences in the UK in a uniquely BBC way is a very exciting prospect indeed,” Kate Phillips, the BBC’s director of unscripted television, said at the time.

Where is the new season being filmed?

Filming for the Survivor UK reboot took place in the Dominican Republic, over the course of an eight week shoot. Details of the show’s exact location are being kept quiet for now.

Is there a trailer for the new series?

The first teaser for Survivor UK aired on BBC during the women’s Wimbledon final earlier this month.

“Welcome to a remote corner of the world,” Joel tells viewers in the short video, “where 18 people will take part in the toughest, most challenging reality show on television”.

The trailer then gives us a quick glimpse at the contestants from afar, as we see them battling it out in a series of tough tasks.

“They’ve come to fight it out in a strategic game that will push them physically, mentally and emotionally,” Joel adds.

When will Survivor air on the BBC?

According to the first teaser trailer, Survivor would be landing on our screens this autumn – and the BBC big-wigs have kept their promise, with a premiere date of 28 October, at 8.25pm recently revealed. The next episode will air the next day (29 October) at 8pm.

The series will be 16 episodes long, with each instalment an hour long.

Speaking about the show, Natalka Znak, CEO of Remarkable Entertainment, added that the show was the “greatest gameshow on earth” – and that “it has everything – reality, adventure, drama and the ultimate game.”


What's Hot