Interview with Hunted Series 3's Joe and Dan


(Hunted Series 3 starts January 4 at 9pm on Channel 4)

JOE: Why did you want to take part in Hunted?

I applied on behalf of Dan and myself as I am a massive fan of Hunted. I saw the applications advertised at the end of series two and immediately applied! I then told Dan I had applied for us both! I didn’t really think it would matter as there would be so many people going for it! Still feels strange that we got picked to do it!

What special skills or attributes made you think you’d succeed in this?

The amount of skills I had to go on the run were pretty much zero practical skills. I suppose one of the best things I had personally was a lot of determination/stubbornness, I’m also quite good with people so I think that helped. I am also a big Hunted fan so was well aware of many of the tricks the hunters like to use!! Together I think our best skills are that we are a good team having worked together for around 10 years.

What did you think the experience would be like making the programme, and how did the reality match up to your expectations?

I had no idea what the experience would be like and I suppose the main difference was the length of the run! As a viewer you don’t get to appreciate how long it can take to ride your bike from one side of the country to another. 

Did you pick up any tips from having watched the first two series?

I picked up plenty of tips from the previous series and plenty of things not to do as well!

Did you go into it with loads of detailed plans, or did you just go where fate took you?

We had no detailed plans whatsoever we figured if we didn’t know where we were going how would the hunters?

What was the toughest aspect of the whole experience?

The toughest part of the whole experience was missing family and friends. We have so much communication nowadays and we had none of it and that gets really rough after a couple of weeks. I missed my wife immensely.

Did you find yourself getting paranoid?

I didn’t get too paranoid as I was worried about what we were doing not what the hunters were doing.

Did you form bonds with people when you were away? Did you meet people who were a really big help to you?

We met lots of great people who were incredibly helpful. It just made me believe in human nature more!

Were there any particular high or low points in the whole thing for you?

All emotions were amplified on the run so the difference between a good mood and a bad mood could have been absolutely anything! So one minute you could be really down and the next loving life it was a bit crazy! However my favourite night was when we lucked upon a youth hostel that we had to ourselves, they had just had a wedding and gave us loads of left over alcohol which we drank in a hot tub!! And the lowest point was when I went to visit my mum and dad it was quite emotional!

What would you say you learned from this experience?

I think I learned to not go on the run! I suppose the main thing I learned is that I really missed my family and friends and I don’t function well without them! But me and Dan can do anything!! 

DAN: Why did you want to take part in Hunted? 

I wanted to take part in Hunted because the programme itself is an amazing concept and I thoroughly enjoy watching it. The moments when the hunters are close really gets my heart going!

What special skills or attributes made you think you’d succeed in this? 

I suppose I am one of those guys that would give anything a go, I didn’t think I had any special skills or attributes. Both Joe and I are normal bog standard guys that have a keen interest in the spy movie world. I think what became apparent as we were being hunted was that we both had a desire to succeed and enjoy the time that we had. The ability to think a few steps ahead whilst having a plan A, B and C was my main contribution. And Joe‘s ability to calm my nervous anxiety balanced that well.

What did you think the experience would be like making the programme, and how did the reality match up to your expectations? 

I didn’t really have any experience of working within television so I didn’t have any expectations: I was just genuinely thrilled just to be part of the programme. The experience was amazing but also very hard. The reality of being chased made me realise how awful the reality of being an actual fugitive is. I can’t imagine having to live like that on a day-to-day basis. Paranoia would kick in. Your mind starts to think up things that aren’t there and that isn’t a nice place to be.

Did you pick up any tips from having watched the first two series? 

Having watched the first two series back to back really helped highlight some of the tactics the hunters would use. Knowing that technology was a real no-no really stood Joe and I in good stead. That’s not to say that there wasn’t the temptation to use it, especially when we missed our families. We also noted that all the winners had at some point used a bike so we thought it would be a great way to be as mobile as possible and it also allowed us to use lots of different paths and roads to evade capture.

Did you go into it with loads of detailed plans, or did you just go where fate took you? 

We had a possible initial exit plan from where ever we were dropped off but you have to bear in mind we didn’t have a clue where that would be. Our mantra whilst we were on the run was to have no plan: to wake up, have a general direction we would head in and see where it took us. Generosity of people affected where we went but on the whole we stuck to where we had been before. It gave us the upper hand at points and allowed us to escape when we felt the hunters were close.

What was the toughest aspect of the whole experience? 

It wasn’t the physical aspect of cycling for long periods or the mental agility needed to think of multiple scenarios whilst having multiple steps to counter us getting caught. The toughest aspect was having to deal with the quiet points during the day. The emotional strength needed was definitely something I hadn’t bargained for.

Did you find yourself getting paranoid? 

Without a doubt I was paranoid, however Joe with his chilled out vibe was my yang. His ability to rationalise my thoughts helped us to get as far as we got. There was an occasion at the beginning when I was shouting out multiple scenarios, and we heard a helicopter above, or so we thought. It was actually the wind rattling through a partially open window on the motorway. It broke the tension in the air and we all began to laugh.

Were there any particular high or low points in the whole thing for you? 

High: the thrill of the chase. It was weird because even at the end I still needed Joe to let me know it was over. There were a couple of points when I saw other children or cycled past memorable places that really sent me to a dark place within my mind. When you’re cycling, which we did a lot of, you’re left with your thoughts for long periods and that’s when the darkness of me missing my family really affected me. On one occasion I cycled within 200 feet of my house but knew it would have caused more problems than solved if I’d called in.

What would you say you learned from this experience? 

That my family are my world, it’s a unique emotional experience which only intensified my feelings. Did I enjoy myself? Without a doubt. But would I do it again? No I missed my wife and kids too much.

December 29, 2017 4:22pm by Channel 4  

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