Written by on Sep 16, 2014. Posted in On Location

Rival US politicians film survival TV special on location in Marshall Islands

Two rival US senators spent a week filming TV special Rival Survival in the Marshall Islands in the western Pacific Ocean. Jeff Flake, a Republican from Arizona, joined Martin Heinrich, a Democrat from New Mexico, for the Discovery Channel shoot on the uninhabited island of Eru.

“The pair must work together as they attempt to spear fish, build shelter and find enough water to survive for one week,” said Discovery Channel: “There is no natural source for fresh water on Eru, and what lives in the ocean will be their major food source.

“This unusual pairing will leave behind the daily life of congressional staff, senate hearings and committee meetings to navigate the rigors of surviving on an isolated island with no contact with the outside world to call upon for help.”

Stranding individuals on remote desert islands is becoming a more popular entertainment format for reality television. In the UK shows have included Shipwrecked and Bear Grylls’ The Island.

Adventurer Ed Stafford spent a month in a remote part of Fiji for his TV series Naked and Marooned. However, the adventures of his line producer Steven Ballantyne – of Expedition & Production Management (EPM) Asia – could have been the focus of a separate show. While Stafford filmed his own exploits alone on his island, Ballantyne lived in a village on a neighbouring island and worked on an education project with locals as he monitored Stafford from afar.

“We negotiated a price to use the neighbouring island for Ed, and for me to stay in the village,” Ballantyne told The Location Guide: “They thought it was very funny that we were paying them for exclusive use of the island for Ed, but that we were giving the island back to them after 60 days and still letting them keep the money!”

Rival Survival will be screened in late October.

To read The Location Guide’s full interview with Steven Ballantyne click here.

(Image: Discovery)

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