Survivor UK reboot is coming to BBC - 20 years after its ITV debut

Survivor UK is returning to the BBC, 20 years after it was scrapped by ITV.

Survivor UK
(Image credit: BBC)

Survivor UK is returning to TV screens after the BBC confirmed it was launching a brand new version of the ultimate physical and psychological gameshow.

The return of I'm A Celebrity 2022 in Australia (opens in new tab) will prepare fans for the return of Survivor UK in 2023.

There will be 16 x 60-minute episodes of Survivor that promise viewers a compelling test of brains, brawn and betrayal as players compete to outwit, out play and outlast their rivals to be crowned the Ultimate Survivor.

Twenty people, carefully selected from across the UK will be marooned in a tropical location. They will be divided into two tribes, going head-to-head in a range of physical and psychological challenges. Following a number of eliminations that will take place at the iconic tribal council, the tribes will eventually merge before one person takes away a cash prize and proves that they have what it takes to be the Ultimate Survivor.

News of a reboot have circulated since 2017, as we look at all you need to know...

Where can I watch Survivor UK?

You can watch Survivor UK on BBC One and BBC iPlayer when it returns in 2023. The BBC is yet to confirm the start date but Kate Phillips, director of Unscripted at the BBC said, “Survivor is a global television hit and to be able to bring one of TV’s most successful formats to audiences in the UK in a uniquely BBC way is a very exciting prospect indeed.”

BBC Press Office teased, "Who will be the Ultimate Survivor? We'll find out in 2023 when 20 people from across the UK are marooned in a tropical location in two tribes and go head-to-head in a range of physical and psychological challenges. Survivor is coming."

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When did Survivor UK start?

Survivor UK started back in 2001 when it was first aired on ITV for two series until 2002 when it was scrapped by the broadcaster. It had to compete with Big Brother (opens in new tab) for viewers as this had also launched at the time. And in 2023 Big Brother is also making a return to screens (opens in new tab).

Natalka Znak, CEO Remarkable Entertainment added, “Survivor is ‘the greatest gameshow on earth’ for a reason - it has everything - reality, adventure, drama, and the ultimate game. I can’t wait to be boots on the ground, working with Paul Osborne, Stephen Lovelock and the fantastic team at Remarkable to make this epic series for the BBC.”

You can watch the original trailer below. 

Who won Survivor UK?

Charlotte Hoborough won the first series of Survivor UK, while Police detective Jonny Gibb was named the "Ultimate Survivor" in the second series of Survivor UK. Following the premise of other versions of the format, the show featured a group of contestants who became castaways as they are marooned in an isolated location, where they must provide food, water, fire, and shelter for themselves. 

The contestants competed in challenges for rewards and immunity from elimination. The contestants are progressively eliminated from the game as they are voted off the island by their fellow castaways. The final castaway remaining is awarded the title of "Ultimate Survivor" and a monetary prize.

Survivor, a Banijay format created by Charlie Parsons, is one of the most watched reality entertainment formats around the world. Celebrating 25 years this year, (the format was first employed in 1997 in Sweden), the show has gone on to be ranked as the ‘Number 1 Best Reality Show of All Time’ by Variety. 50 versions have been commissioned around the world to date, and the CBS version of the show from the USA will soon be airing its 43rd series.

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