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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 March 2007, 03:31 GMT
Meet the Castaways
The 13 people taking part in the BBC's reality series Castaway are spending three months on New Zealand's Great Barrier Island.

They are cut off from the outside world and will be fending for themselves for up to 12 weeks.

The programme-makers say it is not a place for the squeamish, the lazy or the fussy.

JOE CHICKEN

Joe Chicken
Joe, 33, lives in London and is an occupational therapist.

A self-confessed entertainer, he's passionate about animals and environmental issues.

Hobbies include kayaking, swimming in the sea and cycling.

He says: "I will occupy myself by playing hide and seek, telling jokes doing treasure hunts and dancing like a doughnut!"

ALISTER COOLING (AL)

Al Cooling

Alister, 24, from Leeds describes himself as an unpublished science fiction writer. Influences include Buffy, Angel and 24.

The self-confessed couch potato lists his friends to be his TV, his computer and his hi-fi.

Previous jobs include a chef and hotel night porter.

He says: "I feel it important to show those 'big-boned' young people out there that feel bullied and persecuted that there's a place in society for them."

CLARE HILLEY

Clare

Clare, 22, from Surrey wants to be a Conservative MP. Last year she was the youngest candidate to stand in a local election in the UK.

She sees herself as a natural leader and admits she can be confident to the point of arrogance.

She works as a recruitment consultant and hobbies include gliding, flying, sailing and walking.

She says: "This experience will teach me what matters most to me and what I want the next chapter of my life to be."

ERICA HURST

Erica

Erica, 22, from Bolton has a degree in media studies.

She has worked as a lap dancer, and aspires to be an actress. In her spare time she is a freelance travel writer for her local paper.

Hobbies include snowboarding, Thai boxing and extreme sports.

She says: "It is the type of situation I have always dreamed to be in where I could see what my full potential is."

ALASDAIR HUMBERTON

Alasdair

Alasdair, 19, from Northamptonshire, is on a double gap year before starting a degree in psychology.

He regards himself as a leader having been deputy head boy at his public school. He wants to be a venture capitalist and make millions.

Hobbies include fishing, rugby and mountain boarding. He also spent some time rapping in a Goldie Looking Chain tribute band.

He says: "It would be amazing to chase your breakfast around an island and wrestle with it."

LUCINDA KING

Lucinda

Lucinda, 27, is an events project manager in London.

The ex-convent girl has a degree in interior and architecture design.

She admits that she comes across as confident and flirtatious, but on the inside is sensitive and "constantly dreaming about where life will take me".

She says: "Castaway would take me away from everything I know - it would be the ultimate challenge."

HASSAN KOBEISSI

Hassan

Hassan, 24, from Suffolk works as a labourer. He has qualifications in business studies and performing arts.

A non-practising Muslim, Hassan says he never backs down from an argument and likes to win.

He lists swimming, running, boxing, fishing, tennis and golf among his hobbies.

He says: "Being on Castaway will get me out of this robotic lifestyle that most of us lead."

WENDIE MITCHELL

Wendie

Wendie, 42, from London is a mother of four who gave up her advertising agency career last year to become a full-time carer for her mother.

A skinhead for many years, Wendie runs a website dedicated to ska music.

She says she can be a bit bossy and controlling at times.

She says: I'd like to do something for myself after a year of taking care of others."

KENNETH ROSE

Kenneth

Kenneth, 65, from Essex spent 22 years in the Royal Marines and says he's still a military man at heart.

In civilian life, he's pursued his interest in photography. He's also skilled at DIY, carpentry and can kill animals and fish for food.

Ken admits he doesn't get angry easily but can come across as aggressive without realising it.

He says: "At my age it might be the last chance to do something outrageous."

JASON ROSS

Jason

Jason, 37, is currently unemployed and a recovering drug and alcohol addict. He's been clean for 18 months.

A qualified carpenter, he has a seven-year-old son who he describes as one of his biggest personal achievements.

Originally from London, and now based in Kent, Jason likes his food and is worried about shortages on the island.

He says: "I'd like to gain a sense of self, a deeper respect for life and learn how to cope with the bare essentials."

JONATHAN SHEARER

Jonathan

Jonathan, 41, has spent many years as a migrant worker around the world - mainly working as a teacher.

A self-confessed loner, Jonathan lives on Benbecula Island in Scotland. He's currently cleaning toilets and hotel rooms to support his ornithology habit.

His lists his other jobs as professional psychic, sewer digger and zoo-keeper (especially tigers).

He says: "I have a strong dislike for the kind of deeply earnest, green, touchy-feely idiots whom I suspect you are going to populate your island with."

FRANCIE SMEE

Francie

Francie, 56, recently divorced after 20 years of marriage and started a new life in Oxford. She has three grown-up daughters.

She describes herself as tall, bossy, fun and adventurous with a passion for outdoor life.

Her skills include cooking, gardening, hiking, cycling, DIY, hunting and trapping.

She says: "I need to feel good about myself, to regain confidence after a divorce, to fulfil a dream of having an adventure."

GEMMA ZINYAMA

Gemma

Gemma, 22, from Essex works as a classified sales executive.

She admits to being talkative and loves spending her money on making herself look good, and clubbing.

A city girl at heart, she says she's not good at cooking and cleaning.

She says: "I'd like to be educated by others and maybe I'll come back realising how lucky my life is and rethink my attitude towards things."

Castaway begins on Friday, 9 March at 2100GMT on BBC One


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Castaway contestants arrive on Great Barrier Island



SEE ALSO
Reality show Castaways unveiled
07 Mar 07 |  Entertainment
Castaway to shoot in New Zealand
24 Oct 06 |  Entertainment
TV's Castaway back for second run
21 Jul 06 |  Entertainment

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