It's official: Celebrity Treasure Island is returning

Spy News,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 24 October 2018, 12:12PM

All your early 2000s dreams just came true, as TVNZ has announced the return of its hit reality series Celebrity Treasure Island.

The series saw some of our nation's best-known faces head to a "remote" island struggle to not only compete but survive, in a bid to win a sum of cash they didn't even get to keep - it all went to the charities of their choice.

The concept and series originated in New Zealand in 1997, at first as Treasure Island. The celebrity version then hit our screens in 2001 with the first season starring the likes of Nicky Watson, John "Cocksy" Cocks, Dominic Bowden, Sally Ridge and Stacey Morrison (formerly Daniels).

Bet you never thought you'd be so excited to see this logo. Photo / TVNZ



The show lasted a massive nine seasons, including the two that preceded the first official celebrity version - though season two did see none other than Clarke Gayford take out second place.

It also underwent various other iterations including Treasure Island: Extreme, Superstars of Treasure Island, Treasure Island: Couples at War and Treasure Island: Pirates of the Pacific.

It's especially impressive because as Survivor-esque as it sounds, Celebrity Treasure Island predates the juggernaut reality series which debuted in 2000.

By far, the series' most memorable moment was when 2004 celebrity contestant Lana Coc-Kroft had to be airlifted from Fiji, after she cut her foot on coral and got a life-threatening blood-poisoning disease.

Let's not forget the time Lana Coc-Kroft nearly died for the sake of reality TV. Photo / TVNZ

There was also a twist like no other in 2002's Extreme season, in which former SAS soldier Barrie Rice dealt with being eliminated by going AWOL and hiding out in the jungle, to the point where a professional had to track him to find him.

We'll have to wait to find out which celebrities will star in the rebooted series, but TVNZ's content director Cate Slater promises a good lineup.

Within its network alone, TVNZ has its pick of celebs from Shortland Street stars to reality show contestants on everything from cooking shows to dating shows.

"I absolutely can't wait. [Celebrity Treasure Island] was such a hit when we originally did it and the timing just feels so right to bring it back," says Slater.

"The casting is going to be amazing, there's just so many [celebrities] to choose from and it's looking fantastic."