Survivor UK Meet The Contestants – Ashleigh

Survivor UK Meet The Contestants - Ashleigh

Survivor UK premieres soon on BBC One so what better time to meet the contestants: Ashleigh is 34 from London and is a Brand Strategist. Here she tells us why she wanted to be on the show and how she prepared.

Why did you want to participate in Survivor?

I love every opportunity to live life to the fullest and to challenge and push myself. Whether it’s in work e.g. starting my own business, in fitness with my boxing or in life and taking on skydiving, I have always wanted to test my limits. I suffer from imposter syndrome and struggle to believe in myself, so this is why I push myself, to try and find my limits. What better test to understand what I’m really capable of than the ultimate challenge – Survivor!

Tell me about the skills you thought you could bring to the team.

In life I’m generally a very upbeat and positive person, I’m proactive and determined and I like to be there for people and to step-up when others maybe don’t feel like they can. I’m always happy to put myself forward and to do it with a positive attitude. I’m also willing to push myself to the end for my team and I try to be a strategic thinker, so I was keen to bring not just strength, strategy and determination but also a smile!

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How did you get yourself ready, both physically and psychologically, to take part?

I have coeliac disease and I actually had a gluten flare-up three weeks before the show started which massively impacted my training. I usually run three times a week and weight train or box twice a week, but I had to cut right back during my coeliac recovery so I was not at my peak fitness when I started. I did try and eat lots to make sure I was ready for the calorie deficit though – thank god for gluten free pizza!

Did you come up with a plan for how you’d play the game?

I wanted to take my time to get to know the other players a bit better before making any moves. Sometimes having a big game plan from the beginning can be a sure-fire way to get yourself voted off early! So I wanted to try and steer the game subtly, leading from below rather than trying to place myself in a leadership (and therefore more risky!) position.

How competitive are you?

A little healthy competition never hurt anyone! I have always had a strong drive to succeed and a willingness to work hard to achieve my goals. I’m highly self-motivated, resilient, determined and am always looking for ways to improve and outperform others. I always have a clear sense of what I want to achieve and I’m willing to take the risks and face challenges to get there. I also have no issue with bouncing back from setbacks and failures, seeing these as new opportunities to learn and grow.

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Which challenges in particular were you most anticipating?

I knew I wouldn’t be the most physically fit, but I work well in a team and enjoy more mental and strategic challenges. I was excited about the team games and puzzles!

How did you handle life on the beach without any modern conveniences?

Not well, but better than I expected in some ways. It really made me realise how much I don’t need certain things, and I really enjoyed not being attached to my phone all of the time. I will never forget sleeping under the stars or learning how to build and maintain a fire. There are some incredible, seemingly basic things that can be the most meaningful and comforting. Surprisingly not being able to shower wasn’t as bad as I thought, the sea is a great alternative! But things like not having a towel to dry-off, not being able to brush our teeth, and of course no Prosecco brunches, were not my favourite!

What did you do to keep from starving?

I am mega grumpy when I’m hungry! I was so tired and desperate for food all of the time! It definitely made me realise how privileged I am at home to be able to eat what I want at home and was a reminder not take that for granted.

What did you take away from your experience on the show?

That I am more capable than I give myself credit for and to believe in myself.

Survivor UK begins soon on BBC One.

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.