A RECOVERING drug and alcohol addict from a Kent town will soon be appearing on our TV screens as he prepares to be marooned on a remote island for the BBC reality show Castaway.
Jason Ross, 37, from Dover, will be one of 13 people spending 12 weeks on Great Barrier Island, off New Zealand, in the programme which begins on Friday.
The series will document how the contestants react with each other, cope with being far away from their every day lives and manage on meagre food rations.
Castaway was first screened seven years ago and took contestants to a remote island in the Scottish Outer Hebrides. It made a star out of Ben Fogle, one of the contestants.
Mr Ross, who is currently unemployed, is a recovering drug and alcohol addict and has been clean for 18 months. He is originally from London, but moved to Kent and hopes to become an addiction counsellor when the series finishes.
He has a seven-year-old son, who he describes as "one of my biggest personal achievements".
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Ross said: "I am doing this to gain a sense of self, a deeper respect for life and to learn to cope with the bare essentials. I’d also like to make some lifelong friends."
He added: "Staying clean has been a tough challenge, but my ambition in life is to be a good role model for my son."
Mr Ross feels he will cope with island life, as he already does several outdoor pursuits, but he admits that he will struggle to live without his hair clippers, razor and food. He lists food shortages as one of his biggest fears.
Other contestants on the show include a lap dancer a mother-of four, a young Tory and a former member of a Goldie Lookin’ Chain tribute band.
Castaway launches at 9pm on Friday on BBC1.
If you know Jason Ross, the Dover Mercury would like to hear from you. Call Mary Graham or Graham Tutthill in the Dover newsroom on 01304 206955.