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Thursday, 14 March, 2002, 14:55 GMT
Contestant asks to quit Survivor
Survivor
Twelve contestants began the ordeal
The second series of ITV1's Survivor has started inauspiciously - with a contestant asking to be voted off the tropical island straight away.

City trader Sarah McCombie, 22, asked her "tribe" to vote her out after complaining of feeling "flu-ridden" and of missing home.

Until she pulled out, Ms McCombie had been one of 12 contestants battling it out for a 1m prize on the ITV1 show, filmed on a remote island off the coast of Panama.

Sarah McCombie
McCombie: Confident to start with
She had appeared confident before the series started, and said: "I guess being a stereotypical blonde - tall, blonde, slim - is going to help me on the island."

Ms McCombie's early exit was seen by 4.2 million viewers, according to unofficial overnight figures.

More people - 4.6 million - watched BBC One's Ten o'Clock News.

The Survivor audience figures were well down on the 7.6 million watching the show before it, live UEFA Champions League football.

Ms McCombie's decision came after her tribe of six contestants failed the programme's "immunity challenge" - a tough assault course in which the group had to carry a 200lb chest through the jungle.

Other contestants had their own problems.

Latin-American dance enthusiast Tayfun, 27, from London, made the mistake of dropping his tribe's machete into the water - thinking it would float.

Reward

When it sank his tribe could not open their crate of supplies or cut open coconuts for food.

Charlotte Hobrough
Survivor winner Hobrough is presenting a spin-off
But after they won the "immunity challenge" the following day they were rewarded with an axe which they used to open the crate.

Contestants left in the race for the 1m prize include a CID officer, a shepherdess and a Royal Marine turned barrister.

ITV1 is hoping the series will win bigger audiences than it achieved in 2001, and has added an interactive element - to meet the criticism that Survivor, unlike the Channel 4 hit Big Brother, did not have enough audience participation.

Survivor's presenter is Channel 4 cricket commentator Mark Nicholas, who has replaced newsreader Mark Austin.

Series one winner Charlotte Hobrough is hosting Survivor: Raw, an extra programme, going out on digital channel ITV2.

Ms Hobrough gave up her job as a policewoman after netting the 1m prize.

See also:

13 Mar 02 | TV and Radio
Survivor returns with new look
13 Mar 02 | TV and Radio
Survivor II contestants revealed
25 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
Charlotte wins 1m Survivor
25 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
Survivor proves a TV dinosaur
26 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
'Modest' ratings for 1m Survivor
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