Category Archives: SOS Island

SOS Island – I won!!!

THANKS TO: Leo in Liverpool, LagMonster in Denmark, Segacs and Janet in Canada, Kendra and the Mohammeds in Egypt, Alex and Mandy in Oz, Dan in East Timor, Sachal in Sri Lanka, Maria in Puerto Rico, Rhonda in Virginia, Monica in New York, Chris & Debbie in Hong Kong, Mike in Ireland, Kerri in New Zealand, Odyssey stalwarts Dino, Lorna, gavinmac and Matt Lumby, Helen and Viv in Manchester, Chessie, Lindsey, Dan, Sally, Vicki, Matt, Matt and Matt in London, Stan, Helen, Si and Lol in Brum, Brian, Laura Soraya, Anna, Bootle Lass, Ste Webster, Tom Lox, Andrew Ab, Lucy and Tim, Adam and Owen, Mum & Dad, brothers Alex and Mike, my nephews Alan, James and Matthew and my girlfriend Casey………………………

(To name a few!)

Graham Hughes, Winner of Samsung's SOS Island CompetitionTHANK YOU ALL.

See you on Jinja Island, 2014. Be there.

Last Week

So this is it. Crunch time.

This week I will find out if…

a) AJ Hackett will be building a bungee jump in Liverpool next year.

b) Guinness World Records are happy to verify my little jaunt to every country in the world without flying (you know, the one that took me four years).

c) I win SOS Island.

EVERYTHING is up in the air here. I have no idea what Guinness are going to say, and even though I’m ahead on votes at this moment in time on the SOS website, it’s a percentage game and challenge wins must be taken into account. Nothing, nothing NOTHING is set in stone.

So this Saturday night I could be celebrating.

Or commiserating.

I’m not feeling helpless, though… I’m voting every day at and I’m encouraging everybody I know and love to do the same. I’m currently getting around 1,500 votes a day, which is amazing – I just hope it’s enough.

So, to you. We have three days left. Voting closes at midnight GMT on Thursday.

You can vote once a day from every email address you own and you can play the mini-game for extra votes (hint: ignore the birds, just go for the animals and the snakes with knots in them, go for headshots and don’t miss… build up your combo and you can get 90,000 fairly easily, which will multiply your vote by 5. Please note that playing the game again and again does not result in extra votes!!!)

This last month has been a crazy roller-coaster… and don’t worry, I’ve been playing the game like crazy too!!

Not long to go now……

We will speak again at the end of the week. Whatever happens, I’ll be in the pub 🙂

SOS Island | Day 12 | Exodus

Our final day of SOS Island!!! Here’s a quick tour of our tent (I only slept in it once – hammocks all the way baby):

Our final challenge was filmed this morning, and the result of it could swing the winner of this whole thing. Watch out for it when it goes out at the end of November!!! Here we are about to go live being told to grab our stuff… WE ARE LEAVING!!!!!

And here’s the live show… they gave us beer and everything!!!

Here’s the footage I got on the way back – featuring a surprise appearance from an old friend!!!

Bear in mind, those shots of Chango were shot freehand, with my Samsung S4 Galaxy Zoom, zoomed in AND ON A BOAT. If that’s not a massive ad for Samsung’s latest cameraphone, I don’t know what is!!!!

We headed back the hotel and everyone crashed out. Completely out of character, I know, but since everybody else went straight to bed, so did I. After 12 days on a desert island, little food, no air-con, a bucket shower and sleeping in a hammock, I was exhausted.

ONLY JOKING!!!!!!!!!

I headed straight for the bar!!! There I met with the production crew, Tom the crazy hair guy from Boot Camp (he chose to stay in Puerto Rico) and Maria Alexandra, my Puerto Rican travel buddy who followed The Odyssey Expedition from day 1.

Maria was still in the running for the Jauntaroo Chief World Explorer job (same one I didn’t make the final 50 of… SCREW YOU, JAUNTAROO!!!) so, desperately trying to sound sober, we shot this video:

Watching that back, crikey we was drunk! Sorry Mum!!!!

Anyway so Maria didn’t make the top 5 +++SCREW YOU EVEN MORE JAUNTAROO!!!+++ and neither did Chris, who was also in the running.

Hey, Jauntaroo, great way to make every travel blogger in the world hate your guts!! Just to remind you, THIS was the video I shot in my attempt to get into the top 50:

And it wasn’t good enough.


Like, really.

But not without YOUR support!!

So join #TeamGraham and head over to and VOTE VOTE VOTE!!

We stayed out drinking till the wee small hours. The next day I was so exhausted and hungover that I stayed in bed all day.


I went kayaking with Jo.

SOS Island | Day 11 | Last Night

We were originally supposed to leave the island on Saturday, but due to our director Craig falling ill, the plan changed…

So this was to be our last night on the island! Today we’d be cramming two challenges into one day, no rest for the wicked!! Although I was sad that we’d be leaving a day early, everyone else was ecstatic to hear the news, as you can see in the following video:

It being our last night, we were invited to attend a fire on the beach and roasted marshmellows with Carolina, the owner of the island. Javier, our minder (“the ninth SOS-Islander”) and our medic were also there and most of the group came. Mmm… marshmellows!! A VERY content Graham slept soundly on his hammock that night.

SOS Island | Day 10 | Lord of the Flies

I’m loving this island! Slept on my hammock again last night – I seem to be sleeping better than the others. Or maybe they’re all just incredibly focused on maxing out their social media presence…

So! Day 10 on the island!! This morning we had a challenge (one of the final 4!) and then this afternoon we all lined up on the beach for our penultimate live show.

I love that I’m uploading this stuff from an island in the Caribbean while appearing live on the internets!! Samsung you know the way to a ginger travelling monkey’s heart!

After the show we were given a ton of grub in tin cans to devour. I made a fire and Jo and I ate some canned Chilli Con Carne and sweetcorn… LOVELY!!

Dunno what was with the others. Maybe they weren’t hungry.

SOS Island | Days 8 & 9 | Ben Gunn’s Cheese

By our second Monday on the island it was really beginning to feel like home. I was in my element, running around, causing trouble, attempting to win challenge coconuts. This week pretty much all of the challenges involved water and when it came to Monday’s live show, half of us were (understandably) exhausted…

Yes I made a robot costume.

Tuesday saw us shoot two more challenge episodes, and also saw us shoot a promo for the news networks in the States.

[The link used to be here, but it kept autoplaying no matter how much I fiddled with the code, so I’ve been forced to delete it. Please don’t do that, news networks. It’s dead annoying.]

SOS Island | Days 6 & 7 | The Hatch

When I was asked on the application form for SOS Island which 3 things I would bring to a desert island, I wrote “a machete, my girlfriend and a hammock for two”.

Well, I got my knife (not quite a machete, but it’ll do), and there’s a hammock…

Now I just need Samsung to fly my girlfriend over and I’m staying here.

Just because it’s the weekend doesn’t mean there is any rest for the wicked. Saturday started with a challenge that ended up splurging all over lunch, and then the afternoon was spent catching up on aftermath interviews about the challenges… so no early finish.

The crew left around 5pm and we had about an hour to dismantle our old shelters and put up our brand spanking new tents. Exciting stuff for us castaways! I put up our tent and helped fix Karen and Jo’s (with help from our minder Javier and his toolkit – the tent had a manufacturing fault), and filmed this on the beach:

After nightfall I made another fire, using no palm fronds this time. Jo joined me and we sang some songs. Everybody else stayed in their tents. Like, really? Okay. Whatever. After Jo went to bed I went off on my own and took some pics of the stars on my Samsung NX camera. Like this one:

Samsung NX Stars
Starry Starry Night

Nice new tents aren’t very survival. That night I slept on the hammock. Lovely lovely hammock.

Sunday was supposed to be our day off – no challenges, no live show and – even better – we got our first cooked breakfast and lunch!

But we still had work to do. We had to pose for a promotional photoshoot for Samsung. The girls were given make-up (they look weird with make-up) and the boys were given beard-trimmers (not that any of us used them I don’t think).


With the weather like this I had no choice but to sleep in the tent with Mert (our shelters have been dismantled), but no sooner had I rung my socks out than the owner of the island came over to tell us that Javier’s rescue boat had been blown onto the beach by the storm and we had to drag it back into the water.

So back into my soaking wet Vans and back to the beach with Liron, Chris and Mert. It took about 20 minutes to push the boat back into the water. With the rain lashing down there was no chance of a fire tonight. I chatted on my laptop with my girlfriend before crashing for my first early-(ish) night around 10pm. Tomorrow we have a challenge AND a live show…


SOS Island | Day 5 | The Smoke Monster

So the crew know we’ve been stealing food and drink – mostly because not everyone is as sneaky as Mert and I… they keep leaving their discarded Coke cans around the campsite. Murmurs amongst the production staff about removing certain creature comforts lead me to make this video…

Funny that this theme carried into the live broadcast:

After the live show I dunked my head into the ocean and once it got dark I lit a fire so that Jo could play her guitar and we could all sit around and generate a bit of good ol’ campfire spirit. But apparently, the smoke (from the palm fronds I was burning) “smelt bad” so I filled my dry bag up with sand from the beach and used it to put the fire out. I then returned to my hammock away from camp. Now I know how John Locke felt – am I the only one who actually wants to be on this damn island?!!

SOS Island | Day 4 | The Life And Death of Colonel Blimp

Good morning!

Yesterday we got some decent food (which I cooked magnificently)! Woo!!

We also got these…

And this…

So life on SOS Island just got a little easier.

Exhausting day today… no live broadcast so we had two challenges set up, but only got to take part in one of them as the first one over-ran into lunch and in the afternoon Jo hurt her ankle running. I’m not allowed to divulge too much about these challenges as they will be broadcast over the next few weeks once we have left the island, but suffice to say they are very physically demanding and take place in the hottest time of day.

So the fact that we’ve now all been given tarps for our shelters and the production crew have been turning a blind eye to us pilfering any food they leave out is fair enough – in a real survival situation I would be SLEEPING IN THE SHADE at noon in the tropics, not running around sweating my bright red face off like some half-crazed latter-day Colonel Blimp.

I’d be getting up early to improve my shelter, find food and set traps – not to block shots and do interviews.

We only get one hour of daylight at the end of each day, and that is when I either strip to my boxers and dive into the sea (you know how much I hate doing that, right? – Well that’s how sweaty I am at the end of the day) or quickly run about helping people with their shelters, or grabbing cans of soda or helping reset the wi-fi, whatever.

I want to be out filming stuff about the island, but it is nigh on impossible before the sky collapses into night. I’m so glad of my video light – not only do I use it as a torch, it also comes in handy as a video light:

Tonight I’ll sleep on the art department’s hammock by the small generator beneath the starry starry sky. It’s all good.

SOS Island | Day 3 | The Food Drop

After spending all of Tuesday filming challenges, everybody was (understandably) exhausted. Luckily, today we had no challenges.

The morning was spent filming the ‘aftermath’ chats in which we talk to the camera about how we felt we did in the challenges and then in the afternoon we shot the second live show from the island.

I think I’m clever doing all these little vids of me breaking into coconuts without a knife, starting a fire without a flint, but sometimes I quite literally bite off more than I can chew…


It’s funny, so little of this show is staged. We’re in our camp, they mic us up and bring the stuff to us. Andrea turns up, does her stuff (no autocue BTW, I think she does an amazing job – imagine hosting an hour long show live from the jungle in 40 degree heat while getting bitten to death by insects) and we do ours. The only thing we’re told beforehand is where they want us to stand.

Andrea tweeted to say that if today had been a challenge day, I would have won, which was nice!

After the show, I tucked into my food like a man possessed. It’s easy to take things like food and water for granted until they are taken away.

And so to bed! Well, the issue was rather forced by the whole torrential-downpour-affair that went on pretty much immediately after filming had stopped.

Happily, mine (and Mert’s) shelter kept us bone dry… not something I can say for the others, I’m afraid, but then I’ve been putting up tents in my sleep since I was a kid – some of the contestants here have never even been camping before – eek!!!