For six weeks over a million viewers had been excitingly following 14 members of the public as they were chased down by ‘Big Brother Britain’ and became fugitives on Channel 4’s Hunted. There was no cash prize up for grabs, just the prospect of a great adventure. The thrill of the chase was creepily enjoyable for the hunters, a group of ex CIA, FBI, MI5 and MI6 employees tucked away in a secret London location hacking into Instagram accounts and reading emails that you sent to your mum in 1998.
Fan favourite Dr Ricky Allen; representing mid-life crisis males everywhere, was continuously sticking two fingers up to the cockney ex-police chief Brett Lovegrove and his loyal band of followers; setting traps in bothys, and using his network of old pals to evade the eagle eye in the sky. Nevertheless, like most of the fugitives, being too clever did not pay off, and his fate was sealed when he boarded a Virgin-East Coast train down South, most of the UK know that that is never a good idea.
The boyhood thrill experienced by best friend duo Steven Hardiker and Martin Cole was inspiring. The pair wrangled free bikes in exchange for some plumbing work, and cycled along Britain’s canals, living off the land and keeping a low profile. It was the perfect plan, the pair remained off the hunters’ grid throughout the series and made it to the getaway plane in Surrey: truly the stuff of dreams.
The victory of all four remaining huntees was nearly ruined by Emily Dredge, the eccentric and fragile mother who had split from her fugitive partner, Lauren English and had nearly been caught on multiple occasions, accidentally giving away the not so secret Surrey location of the final escape point. Dredge’s unpredictable, and risky behaviour was so wild that the hunters never quite knew what she was going to do next and against all odds……she got on the plane. Probably not a show that will be commissioned to get a second series, but nevertheless another great display of the government’s ability to watch our every move; not that we didn’t know that already.