Survivor Wiki
Survivor Wiki

Survivor (U.K.) is the British version of the reality competition show Survivor. The series was first broadcast on May 21, 2001, and finished broadcasting on May 29, 2002 after two seasons. The series' short run was blamed on poor advertising by ITV. After years of speculation, the BBC announced the revival of the series in 2022, with the first episode airing on October 28, 2023.

Despite becoming a sleeper hit on the BBC's iPlayer catch-up service, overnight ratings fell below expected levels, with many attributing this to inappropriate scheduling, putting the show in a prime Saturday/Sunday night slot.[2] Though a second series of the reboot was planned, the show was shelved by the BBC in early 2024, with a view to a possible return the year after.[3]


Main article: Survivor (franchise)


As Planet 24, the creators of the Survivor format, were a British company, they first pitched the Survivor format (then called Castaway) to the BBC. The BBC took interest but decided to take out the competitive aspect and created Castaway 2000, a social experiment where 36 men, women and children were sent to build a community on the remote Scottish island of Taransay. The show would be rebooted in 2007 and introduced a voting element similar to that of the Survivor franchise.

Survivor was then pitched to Granada, one of the franchises of rival ITV, who took a great interest yet were unwilling to commit to a 13-episode series as Parsons wanted. In 1997, the format was successfully greenlit in Sweden under the title Expedition Robinson. The show was a massive success, and, buoyed by their good fortune, the show was pitched to the U.S. under the name Survivor. It premiered in 2000 and, after widespread acclaim, ITV gave the show another look. They soon commissioned a British version of the franchise, airing in 2001.

Survivor: Pulau Tiga (U.K.), set in Pulau Tiga, Borneo, like the first US season, opened to 6.6 million viewers, which was seen as a "disappointment" by ITV and soon dropped to 5 million, half of the target set by ITV. The finale, which awarded the winner £1,000,000 (roughly equivalent to US$2,200,000 in 2023), was watched by 7.7 million viewers. Despite the poor showing of the series, it was the most-watched reality show at the time of airing in the UK, beating shows such as Big Brother. However, the high production costs (reportedly around £10,000,000[4]) led to many considering the show to be a flop, as shows that were considerably cheaper to produce (such as BBC's The Weakest Link, which usually gave away around £1,500 per episode) were beating it in ratings. Poor viewership was attributed to the late timeslot of 9:45pm as well as poor advertising. The show was also weakened as Big Brother had premiered first and premiered the usual tropes used on reality TV, and Survivor was seen as a carbon copy. The season was hosted by journalist and newsreader Mark Austin, with extra narration and exit interviews being hosted by TV and radio presenter John Leslie.

Survivor: Panama (U.K.), set in the Bocas del Toro archipelago, introduced a series of changes intended to increase viewer interest. A major change was the reduction in cast members from 16 to 12 after viewers complained of not getting to know each castaway individually. Audience voting was also added in the form of a jury vote. In addition, two new accompanying series were introduced: Survivor: The Last Word, featuring an interview with eliminated castaways, and Survivor: Raw on ITV2, which showed extra footage not aired on the main series, discussions, interviews with those who had been voted out as well as calls and e-mails from viewers. Ratings did not increase and ITV cancelled the series after the second season. The main season was hosted and narrated by cricket commentator Mark Nicholas, while Survivor: Raw was hosted by TV host Ed Hall and the Ultimate Survivor of Pulau Tiga, Charlotte Hobrough.

BBC era[]

Since 2017, rumors have emerged of a revival of the U.K. version of Survivor by the BBC. The owners of the format, Banijay, said they were looking to revive the UK series. In April 2022, a source told The Sun that the BBC would revive the series, and that "the deal is almost done". A second report by BroadcastNow in August 2022 stated that the revival was "on the brink" of occurring on BBC One. On September 5, 2022, the BBC confirmed that a new season would be produced for them, featuring 18 castaways divided into two tribes competing throughout 16 hour-long episodes to win £100,000 - equivalent to roughly US$120,000.[5][6] The season was filmed in Playa Caletón, in the Dominican Republic, and was hosted by comedian Joel Dommett.[7]

Format Variations[]

The British version of the show follows the same basic format of the American version of Survivor. Unlike the American version, in the first two seasons, when a castaway was eliminated, they were told to snuff their own torch instead of the host doing so. In the 2023 reboot, the host snuffed a castaway's torch when they were eliminated. No unifying theme has been used to divide the tribes in any season.


Main article: Tribe

Both Pulau Tiga and Panama featured two tribes which merged into a single tribe. The 2023 season followed the same format.


Main article: Merge

On Pulau Tiga, the merge occured at the final 10. The first castaway voted off after the merge would not join the jury, as in the first American season. On Panama, the merge occurred at the final 8, with every castaway subsequently being voted out becoming a member of the jury; this would remain the case in the 2023 season.

Final Tribal Council[]

Main article: Final Tribal Council

Pulau Tiga featured 7 jury members who voted for the winner out of a Final Two. On Panama, all 6 castaways voted off after the merge voted for the winner, also out of a Final Two. The last vote was decided by the viewers, with the finalist receiving more public votes receiving an extra vote. The 2023 season featured 8 jury members and a Final Three for the first time in the franchise.


Season Tribes Number of Castaways Filming Location Season Run Ultimate Survivor
Survivor UK
Pulau Tiga
16 Pulau Tiga, Sabah, Malaysia May 21, 2001 – July 25, 2001 UKS1 charlotte t
Charlotte Hobrough
Survivor 2 UK
North Island
South Island
12 Bocas del Toro, Panama March 13, 2002 – May 29, 2002 S2uk jonny t
Jonny Gibb
La Nena
18 Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic October 28, 2023 - December 17, 2023 UKS3 matthew t
Matthew Haywood


  • Survivor (U.K.) is the first English-speaking version of Survivor to be produced outside of the United States.


Survivor franchises

Argentina · Brazil · Chile · Colombia · Ecuador · Mexico · Mexico (Unofficial) · Quebec · United States · Venezuela

Africa and the Middle East

Africa · Lebanon · Israel · South Africa


Australia · Azerbaijan · China · Georgia · India (Hindi) · India (Tamil) · Japan · New Zealand · Pakistan · Philippines


Austria · Baltics · Belgium · Bulgaria · Denmark · Ex-Czechoslovakia · Ex-Yugoslavia · Finland · France · Germany · Greece · Hungary · Italy · Netherlands · Norway · Poland · Portugal · Romania (2009) · Romania (2016) · Romania (2020-present) · Russia · Scandinavia · Slovenia · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland · Turkey · Ukraine · United Kingdom