Shipwrecker of the Year: faceoff

Sharks vs Tigers. Boys vs girls. Ben Lunt vs Lianne vs Jane vs Lucy vs James vs Paul Marine. ... Sarah vs Andrew?

South Pacific

Ben Lunt won Shipwrecker of the Year 2007. Not everyone is happy about this – and because we couldn’t come to any kind of conclusion about who was right, we’ve let two Den of Geek writers hash it out between themselves here instead:

SarahMaybe I’m a bit of a traitor, but in the last few weeks of Shipwrecked, I planted myself firmly in the Tiger camp. I can pinpoint the exact moment I switched from being a Sharks fan, too: it was when Sophia and Ben both nominated to go over to Shark Island, and the Sharks took Sophia.

Big mistake.

So I’m happy that the Tigers won. I think they deserved to, and that’s largely because of Ben Lunt. I admit that at one point, I did think it was a bit silly for a man with such an obvious rhyming slang kind of a name to act the way he did. But once she-who-resembles-nothing-more-than-a-foghorn Sophia was gone, he suddenly seemed much more bearable. Nice, in fact. And when original Shark Will came over to Tiger Island, Ben and Will’s bizarrely homoerotic friendship made them both even more likeable. (Will, in fact, is the only Shark I wish could have been on the winning team; bollocks to the rest of them.)

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Things Ben Lunt had going for him: the ability to build loads and loads of stuff; a silly, quite childish sense of humour that leaned strongly towards toilet jokes; a strong sense of team spirit; and a rather endearing crush on a girl rather a long way out of his league, who eventually decided she quite liked him after all. Ben and Lianne are the only couple who got together on the islands and are still together today, so that must say something.

On the other hand, who else are you going to give the Shipwrecker of the Year title to? Paul Marine is a boring, overly-competitive sod who mentioned the fact he’s an ex-marine about sixty thousand times, and said he wanted to see the Tigers crying when they lost. Nice guy. Ex-racist Lucy? No thank you. Journeys of self-discovery can be done elsewhere. Pretty-boy James? I don’t think so. (Though he is very pretty.) Lianne? I’d have preferred Fiona to be up for the award, and there’s not much between the two. And as for Jane… she did get better as time went on, but her obsession with playing games was a bit bizarre, and I’m still holding her “I think I might be!” answer to the “are you a new arrival?” question against her. Answer properly, woman!

So. Ben deserved to win, and he did win. Justice has been served. Hurrah!


I was an original Sharks fan, and while it is entirely true they went off the boil afer taking in so many anonyfaces in the middle of the series, that doesn’t necessarily mean the Tigers were a better team.

While they did get over their early fighting to rally together, they only did so around a highly creepy enforced concept of The Team. Like the management bonding weekend from hell, everyone had to do stuff all together, all the time, for the sake of new arrivals. Those who didn’t would have to flee to the Sharks refugee camp. Witness how Charlie and John chose which island should win: explicitly not by who had the best people, but who was the best Team. Bloody hell, did we learn nothing from Dodgeball?

And who was at the heart of ‘The Team’? Whilst Louis bellowed his way into being in charge later on, Lunt certainly took up the lion’s share of it early on, badgering the girls into a non-stop 18-30 holiday carnival of whooping, flashing and cross-dressing. It would be like midnight Friday in Yates’ Wine Lodge, but every hour of every day. And the only way to cope is to join them.Shipwrecked is commonly recognised as the reality show with more people in it than several of the less populous English counties. So let’s follow the logic of The Team on a bit down the line, when Tigerstan has declared sovereignty. For the sake of The Team, see – there’s no room for non-fun-lovers on this island! All people have to pledge allegiance before a totem pole or risk fleeing for their lives (presumably, absolutely PETRIFIED). Anyone suspected of not having enough fun at Jane’s games or finding the sight of Ben Lunt’s buttocks every bum-waggling day to be the most hilarious thing they’d ever seen would be thrown out like so much tanned detritus on to the pontoon. For The Team, see. It’s all for The Team.

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Obviously there was a wider, weirder problem than just Lunt, but he was always there, being the witch-finder general for anyone who didn’t want to live their lives like a lager commercial.

So who should have won? Fiona was wonderful throughout and seemed a genuinely nice person; Stevie, too, before the billowy limb-gathering inexplicably broke up with Amy. Will always seemed great on screen, but new people always seemed strangely wary of him, suggesting there was a lot edited out. Then there’s Ben Chesney, Fliss (for having the balls to choose what seemed like a lost cause), Amy (for putting up with Stevie). (Yes, but none of them made it through the public vote to the final, did they? — Sarah) Pretty much anyone but Lunt.

To be honest, I’d rather have seen anonyElla win than Lunt. Long may his gigs at student unions continue. Well, as long as students continue to have bottles to hand and a plentiful urine supply, anyway.