Page last updated at 13:58 GMT, Saturday, 1 August 2009 14:58 UK

'Castaway' hopes to quit smoking

Mr Spice will leave behind civilisation in his health quest

A businessman who has smoked 30-a-day for decades is to maroon himself on a remote Scottish island in an effort to quit the habit.

Former merchant banker Geoff Spice is due to land on the small isle of Sgarabhaigh, off Harris in the Outer Hebrides, over the weekend.

Mr Spice, 56, will spend four weeks in solitude with only some books and the island's sheep for company.

The island's owner Dave Hill wished him the best with his island "adventure".

Sgarabhaigh has no electricity or water supply and lies at the eastern end of the Sound of Harris.

If you are passing the island in August then sound your claxon and give Geoff a wave
Dave Hill
Sgarabhaigh owner

Weather conditions prevented Mr Spice from landing on the island early on Saturday, but he hopes to be in place over the weekend.

Mr Hill said: "He will be taking residence for the whole of August along with his stock of 120 books.

"So if you are passing the island in August then sound your claxon and give Geoff a wave - but keep your distance, it can be a serious business giving up smoking!

"Anyone wishing to help Geoff stop his addiction can deliver any single malt whisky they wish to the following address - The Cove, Sgarabhaigh, The Sound of Harris, The Western Isles."

The island is usually home to sheep, midges and seabirds

Mr Spice is a former senior director of NM Rothschild & Sons and took up smoking 43 years ago at the age of 13.

He said he would have "one last cigarette" and give the rest of the packet to his wife before getting on the boat.

If he can stop after a month in exile he hopes to be able to look forward to years of extra life with his wife, children and family.

Mr Hill bought Sgarabhaigh four years ago and he has set up a project of selling small shares in the island in an effort to secure a sustainable nature reserve.

Print Sponsor

Crofter's road inspires Africans
03 Jul 08 |  Highlands and Islands
Much-delayed rocket film launched
24 Nov 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Castaway island welcomes visitors
10 Jul 01 |  Scotland
Castaways head back to isolation
05 Feb 01 |  Entertainment
Rare reunion for island Castaways
29 Jul 00 |  Scotland


Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific