Bear Grylls Survivor, from Scousewife to Survivor, read our exclusive interview with Elissa Corrigan.
Feisty and fearless, the former Desperate Scousewives star swapped glamour for gruel as she pushed her mind and body to the limits during her recent time on the Channel 4 show, Treasure Island with Bear Grylls.
First appearing on our screens back in 2011 starring in the ITV2 reality show, Desperate Scousewives, Elissa played the role of the hard-hitting journalist, armed with high heels and a high temper.
Soon enough, the 33-year-old writer became the centre of the story with the show jumpstarting her career in showbiz, leading her to ghost-write autobiographies for celebrities including Geordie Shore star, Holly Hagan.
However, this year, the star proved she was more than just makeup and rollers, taking on the treacherous challenge of Treasure Island with Bear Grylls, where contestants battle it out on a remote island for a chance of winning a £100,000 cash prize.
Speaking exclusively to REVIVE, Elissa reveals all about her fight for survival and how her time on the show equipped her with the skills to empower others to break out of their comfort zone.
“I was a bigger girl when I was younger,
but I’ve lost weight and managed to stay healthy.
If I can do it, anyone can do it – I’ve been there,
and I know how you feel.”
How did you come to apply for Treasure Island with Bear Grylls?
“I’ve watched the show and been a huge fan for years. I was looking for an adventure and a thrill. I applied online, got a call, and I went to London. I was one of the last to get through, and within 25-30 days I was on the show – it was that quick.”
Why did you want to go on the show?
Keen to challenge her physical and emotional strength, Elissa told us how she thought the torture on the show would make her a stronger person.
“I genuinely believe that any growth and development will happen as a result of pain. Whether that be emotional or physical, if you put yourself in emotionally difficult situations, it will build resilience. If you never push yourself, you’ll lose your sh*t over the smallest things.
“I’ve been through the depths of hell, and this is the toughest and most unrelenting reality show in the world. I thought, if I can complete that, there’s nothing I can’t achieve.”
What was your toughest moment on the show?
“The lack of food and hunger. Your body is slowly dying every day, and we were surviving off very little food. If we went out, we might burn 1500 calories, but only eat 200. We always had to weigh up if it was worth it.
“I was obsessed with food; I was dreaming about it. I couldn’t listen to people talk about it.”
Formerly following a plant-based diet, Elissa was told she wouldn’t survive and would have to eat anything she could source.
“I was warned at the beginning I wouldn’t survive from eating a plant-based diet, so I gave it up, eating anything I could get my hands on. It was mainly just seafood and coconut – when I look at coconut now, it makes me sick.”
With no technology, the star was unable to speak to her family during her time on the Island.
She said: “I didn’t miss my phone, but I missed speaking to my family. I had to put them out of my head as thinking of home navigated a downward spiral.”
Your exhaustion led to an enormous nosebleed while on the show, and you must have been frightened?
“I wasn’t frightened, but I was very dizzy. I exerted myself too much. My blood pressure was lower than anyone else’s on the Island. When I stood up, I felt drunk, and my legs were buckling on the beach. We could call the satellite to remove us from the show at any time, and it took a lot of mental strength to not to do that.”
Did the £100,000 cash prize make it awkward while on the Island?
“The money caused murder, and while I didn’t go on the show for the money, I am competitive, and obviously wanted to win it.”
Despite donating her £9,500 prize money to charity, One Woman at a Time, Elissa revealed how this caused tension on the island as contestants expected her to share the cash.
“It looked like I was being selfish not sharing the money on the show, but I had already promised it to the charity. The short term pain of people falling out with me on the show was worth it, as I knew it there was a long term reward when I got home.”