Bob Ayling and his son Alex successfully auditioned to be a contestant in new series of the Channel 4 reality programme “Hunted”.
Bob, is Almoner for Group 7, a member of Septem lodge No 7788 and lives in Dover, he will spend 25 days avoiding capture and pursued across the UK by an elite team of 30 hunters, drawn from some of the world’s best investigators and led by former Scotland Yard detective, Chief Peter Bleksley.
They’re up against a formidable force as the hunters are equipped with search dogs, drones, CCTV and helicopters - but the basic tools are unchanged: instinct, research and a deep understanding of the technological resources available. The latter closely replicate those that are used by the state. On top of this, the hunters offer friends and relatives of the fugitive a large financial reward if they give their location away.
Why did Alex do it, he said, “I wanted to take part for multiple reasons. Primarily because I have a form of autism called Asperger’s Syndrome which led to years of bullying throughout a large part of my school life (from the ages of nine-to-sixteen). This had a tremendous negative effect on my confidence, my self-belief and overall opinion of myself. By participating, I wanted to go beyond what I believed I was capable of doing and prove to those who made the majority of my younger years miserable that I did have worth and value”.
How did they survive, Bob said, “We lived off charity from strangers who helped us. Sleeping anywhere we could. Eating whatever we could lay your hands on which sometimes was barely a couple of hundred calories a day. Water was everything… You keep on the move never stopping in one place too long. You have to stay mentally strong as you become intensely paranoid. You know the Hunters are always looking for you. You must never feel sorry for yourself. You have to get help, but by doing so your movements can become predictable as you are more likely to try to get help from a friend. By asking for help you run the risk of being informed on for reward”.
He also added, “Life will never be the same after that experience. It was the greatest adventure ever.”
Would Alex do it again, “I would agree in a heartbeat. There were many highs and lows throughout but each one culminated in a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you cannot put a price on”.
Dom Bird, Head of Formats at Channel 4 said: “We very much look forward to building on the success of Hunted in new and exciting ways for series three. In an era of unparalleled scrutiny around both privacy and security, Hunted has become a thrilling and eye-opening game of cat and mouse, pitting determined fugitives against expert hunters. It’s already clear that this year both sides will have to raise their game as they battle it out to emerge triumphant.”
Bob and Alex will also be appearing on ITV’s “Good Morning Britain”, look out for them on Wednesday or Thursday, 3rd or 4th January 2108.
The series is produced by Shine TV with executive producers Tim Whitwell, Matt Bennett and Jonathan Smith.
The 1hr x 6-week series, starts on the 4th January, 9pm, Channel 4.
Photos Attached: Courtesy of Channel 4